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Hamas to aid Egypt inquiry into killing of soldiers

March 25, 2013 2:26 P.M. (Updated: March 31, 2013 4:05 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- The Hamas government in Gaza is ready to cooperate with an Egyptian investigation into the killing of 16 soldiers near the Gaza border last August.

Gaza premier Ismail Haniyeh said in a statement Monday that Hamas is committed to non-intervention into Egypt's internal affairs and will cooperate with Egyptian authorities to find the perpetrators of last year's attack.

Egypt has previously indicated that some of the gunmen who killed the 16 soldiers had crossed into Egypt via tunnels below the border with Gaza.

Egyptian magazine Al-Ahram Al-Arabi published a report on Thursday accusing Hamas leaders of being involved in the attack, a charge strenuously denied by Hamas officials.

Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahhar described the magazine as a "collaborator with Israel." He added that the three suspects in question had never left the Gaza Strip, and were wanted by Israel.

Recent efforts to close the tunnels have angered Hamas officials who were expecting better ties with Cairo following the election last year of President Mohamed Mursi, a fellow Islamist.
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