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Last Updated: Friday, 25 January 2008, 18:40 GMT
In pictures: Gaza border breached

Egyptian border guards and riot police officers clash with Palestinians trying to cross the border

For a third day, tens of thousands of Palestinians have been crossing into Egypt from Gaza after militants used explosives to blow several holes in the border wall.

A Palestinian shouts to the crowd not to push the Egyptian riot police, as people try to cross to the Egyptian side of Rafah

On Friday, Egyptian riot police formed human chains in an attempt to reseal the border. Hamas, the group in charge of the Gaza Strip, has said it supports Egypt's decision.

Palestinians run from Egyptian riot police trying to prevent them from crossing to the Egyptian side of Rafah, 25 January 2008.

The police were strongly outnumbered, though, as large numbers of Palestinians managed to sneak through other openings in the border wall.

A crane carries a cow from the Egyptian side of Rafah to the Gaza Strip over the border wall

The UN says some 700,000 people have crossed into Egypt since Wednesday. A variety of items have been going the other way, including cows hoisted over the border by cranes.

Egyptian border guards and riot police officers clash with Palestinians trying to cross the border

Some have used donkeys to stock up on emergency supplies that have been scarce since Israel imposed a blockade on Gaza last week.

Palestinian carry a coffin past Egyptian riot police at the Rafah border crossing, 25 January 2008

Food, fuel, and in this instance, a coffin, have also been heading back to Gaza. The number of border breaches has made it impossible to monitor what has been imported.

A Hamas militant tries to calm crowds of Palestinians trying to cross the border into Egypt

Hamas militants have been checking some people passing back into Gaza for contraband, and trying to calm tensions between Palestinians and the Egyptian police.

A Hamas militant shoots into the air to prevent a crowd of Palestinians from crossing to the Egyptian side of Rafah

But sporadic gunfire rang out as Hamas fighters (above) and Egyptian officials used warning shots and water cannon to try to stem the flow of people.

A Palestinian militant disperses the crowds as a Palestinian bulldozer moves to destroy the border wall between the Gaza Strip and Egypt

Defying attempts to reseal the border, on Friday Palestinians used a bulldozer to punch new gaps in the wall. Egyptian police pulled back as crowds of Palestinians swarmed through.

Gazans make new border wall hole
25 Jan 08 |  Middle East
Gazans flood through Egypt border
23 Jan 08 |  Middle East

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