Page last updated at 12:57 GMT, Friday, 21 March 2008

Hamas men 'tortured by Egyptians'

Relatives of detained Hamas members argue with Egyptian border guards
Gazans have protested about the detentions of dozens of militants in Egypt

The Palestinian militant movement Hamas has accused Egypt of torturing members of the group who were detained after crossing from the Gaza Strip.

A Hamas spokesman said security forces had demanded to know about Hamas leaders' movements and the location of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The questions had nothing to do with the security of Egypt, he added.

Hamas says 39 of its members are being held in Egypt, while 90 others have been released in recent weeks.

Most entered the country in January when hundreds of thousands of besieged Gazans crossed into Egypt after militants breached its border wall near Rafah.

There has been no comment about the Hamas claims from the Egyptian authorities, who have been discussing the fate of the prisoners at meetings with Hamas representatives in the Sinai town of el-Arish.

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