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Unexplained recorders behind arrest of US national at Rafah

Dec. 31, 2010 2:03 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 1, 2011 1:34 P.M.)
EL-ARISH (Ma’an) -- Egyptian authorities on the Rafah crossing said Thursday that officers detained a Palestinian woman with a US passport for failing to explain why she carried six camera-pens with her.

Each recorder, Egyptian officials said, had an eight gigabyte memory, three cameras and high-grade voice recorder. The click-device at the top of each pen act as the on/off switch, officials said.

The woman, a resident of the American state of Florida, did "not given a clear reason" for why she was carrying the pens, officials said, adding that she was transferred to the public prosecution by Egyptian state security.

One official told Ma'an he believed the pens could be used for spying, adding that the sites of Gaza militant groups were a prime target for spy operations. The official, who preferred to remain unnamed, would not explain why he believed the woman was involved in a spy operation.

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