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Egypt border restrictions leave thousands stranded

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) - A Gaza government official says only 14,000 Gaza residents have been able to cross into Egypt over the past three months, compared to 65,000 in the same period last year.

Egypt's military rulers tightened restrictions at the Egypt-Gaza border in early July, after toppling President Mohammed Morsi of Egypt and cracking down on his Muslim Brotherhood group.

Gaza's ruling Hamas is an offshoot of the Brotherhood. Egyptian officials say the border restrictions are a security measure. Hamas denies allegations that it has fomented militant activity in Egypt's Sinai peninsula.

Maher Abu Sabha, the head of the Gaza Borders Authority, on Sunday urged Egypt to lift the border restrictions.

He says at least 5,500 people are stranded in Gaza, including medical patients and students trying to return to universities abroad.

(Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


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