Egyptian balloon pilots defend colleague who survived crash

Updated 04 March 2013
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Egyptian balloon pilots defend colleague who survived crash

LUXOR: Hot air balloon pilots in Egypt’s city of Luxor are defending their colleague who survived this week’s fatal crash that killed 19 tourists. Tuesday’s crash was one of the world’s deadliest ballooning accidents. Initial reports say the balloon was in the process of landing when a cable got caught around a gas tube and a fire erupted.
Pilots who know the Egyptian pilot, Momin Murad, say he has an eight-year track record of flying balloons without incident. The pilot, who sustained severe burns, and a British tourist were the only survivors.
In a press conference in Luxor Saturday, the pilots also defended Egypt’s safety measures for the popular touristic activity, saying the company that operated the balloon that crashed had canceled trips the day before due to bad weather.


Gaza officials: 20 Palestinians wounded at Israeli border

Updated 19 min 18 sec ago
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Gaza officials: 20 Palestinians wounded at Israeli border

  • Gaza’s Health Ministry says 20 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli fire along the border fence.
  • A few thousand Palestinians attended Friday’s rally near the border with a few dozen venturing toward the fence.

GAZA CITY: Gaza’s Health Ministry says 20 Palestinians have been wounded by Israeli fire along the border fence.
A few thousand Palestinians attended Friday’s rally near the border with a few dozen venturing toward the fence.
Some launched flaming kites at Israel. The devices have destroyed forests and crops and killed animals in recent weeks in Israel.
The militant group Hamas that rules Gaza has led three months of protests that turned violent. Over 120 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire.
Israel says it is defending its border and nearby communities and accuses Hamas of using the protests as cover for attempts to breach the fence and carry out attacks.
Rallies are aimed in part at drawing attention to the Israeli-Egyptian blockade imposed after Hamas seized Gaza in 2007.