Hamas in Gaza on Sunday shut down the Rafah border crossing after guards on the Egyptian side fled their posts due to the spiralling unrest gripping the country.
Hamas officials announced the Rafah crossing would be closed for “several days,” preventing hundreds of Palestinians from crossing into Egypt.
At least 50 Gazan travellers hoping to exit through the enclave's only regularly-open border crossing were turned away by Hamas policemen who said the terminal may remain closed for several days.
The measure came a day after armed clashes were reported in the border town of Rafah, on the Egyptian side of the border to where protests against President Hosni Mubarak spread at the weekend. There were no reports of any casualties in Rafah.
Eight Gaza fighters were among inmates who fled Cairo's Abu Zaabal prison as it was raided on Saturday by Egyptians amid spreading chaos in the Egyptian capital. Five of them managed to get back into Gaza.
Hassan Wshah of the Army of Islam made his way through a smuggling tunnel to his home at Bureij refugee camp in Gaza.
Wshah, 27, had been serving a 10-year prison term.
"I have come out of the prison of darkness and injustice," the bearded Wshah said as he was greeted by family members.
Wshah said he saw at least four prisoners shot dead by Egyptian security forces as hundreds fled when inmates rioted at the Cairo jail on Saturday.
The fate of other Palestinian prisoners believed to have escaped from the same prison was unclear. They included a top Hamas commander arrested four years ago in Egypt.
Many of 1.5 million residents in Israel-besieged Gaza have been closely following the events in Egypt fearful of facing further economic woes if the border remained shut for any length of time.
Related news reports:Last Mod: 10 Kasım 2011, 11:31