Egypt Releases 2,000 Prisoners in Amnesty Marking 1973 War
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak pardoned 2,000 prisoners Friday, marking the 6th of October holiday in which Egypt celebrates the surprise attack that started the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, reported The Associated Press.
Minor offenders were released from various prisons nationwide, with priority given to those who displayed good conduct in jail, said the AP.
Prisoners released included traffic offenders and building-code violators.
Such amnesties on religious or state celebrations are common in Middle Eastern nations, the AP added.
Mubarak delivered a speech marking the anniversary in which he hailed this war "as a military feat proving the extreme courage of the Egyptian soldier and the ability of the Egyptian military to carry out a strategic initiative amid complicated international circumstances of unbalanced powers," reported ArabicNews.com
Egypt and Syria launched surprise attacks on the Jewish New Year, Yom Kippur, in 1973 in an effort to regain territories lost during the 1967 Middle East war, said the agency.
Jerusalem, the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and Syria's Golan Heights were occupied by Israel during the 1967 war.
Israel maintained control of the territories, but Egypt eventually regained the Sinai Peninsula in its 1979 peace treaty with Israel.
Syrian-Israeli peace talks over returning the Israeli-annexed Golan Heights to Syria have been stalled since January - (Several Sources)
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