Egyptian Gov't Calls State of Emergency Along Gaza Border

Egypt announced a state of emergency along its border with the Gaza Strip, Palestinian news agency Maan reported yesterday.

Egyptian security sources told the agency that the alert was issued after it had heard that a Palestinian procession was set to be held - demanding an end to the Gaza siege and the opening of the Egyptian side of the Rafah crossing.

The emergency was declared just days after four Palestinians died in an explosion in a tunnel leading from Egypt into the Gaza Strip. Gaza authorities accused Egypt of detonating the tunnel on its Egyptian side. One report claimed the Egyptians not only demolished the tunnel, but filled it with toxic gas, asphyxiating the four victims. Another report attributed the asphyxiation to smoke from the blast.

Egyptian daily al-Masri al-Youm reported yesterday that Egypt had beefed up its forces and patrols in the southern region of Sinai, along roads linking the peninsula to the western bank of the Suez Canal.

According to the report, the security forces are seeking to prevent the infiltration of Hezbollah militants into Egypt via Sinai, in the wake of harsh sentences handed down to 26 convicted members of what has become known as the "Hezbollah Egypt group." There are fears Hezbollah might launch revenge attacks against Egyptian targets.

Meanwhile, the United States, Australia and Canada issued travel warnings to New Delhi, India, for fear of an imminent terror attack within the coming days or weeks. The warnings noted that markets and other areas frequented by Westerners in New Delhi have been targeted in previous attacks.

Local police said they were aware of the warnings of possible attacks. The Delhi Police is taking appropriate measures in this regard, police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said, according to the Press Trust of India news agency. He did not provide any further details.