Egypt closes Gaza border 'indefinitely'
A Palestinian supporter of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, shouts slogans as she stands in between the Egyptian (R) and Palestinian flags during a protest against the violence in the Egyptian capital on August 14, 2013, in Gaza City. (AFP)
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The Egyptian government has demanded that its Rafah border crossing with the Gaza Strip be closed for an indefinite period of time after violence swept the country Wednesday, an Egyptian security official told AFP Thursday.
After enacting the decision to close the border immediately, hundreds of Palestinians were trapped on both sides of the Rafah crossing, which is the only way in and out of the Hamas-ruled Palestinian territory without having to go through Israel.
The Egyptian government cited "security reasons" as the impetus behind the decision, which was implemented one day after Egyptian security forces clashed with supporters of ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi across the country.
Hamas, the Palestinian faction of the Muslim Brotherhood, the political party to which Morsi belongs, condemned Wednesday's crackdown on pro-Morsi protest camps, according to AFP.
At least 464 people were killed in violence across Egypt sparked by the crackdown, the health ministry said on Thursday, AFP reported.