GAZA, Feb 5 (Reuters) - A senior Hamas
commander returned to the Gaza Strip
on Saturday after breaking out of a Cairo jail during the political upheaval in Egypt, sources in the Palestinian Islamist movement said. They said Ayman Nofal had been arrested in the Egyptian Sinai in early 2008. According to Egyptian media, he had been armed and was suspected of hunting members of the rival Palestinian faction Fatah
who had fled from neighbouring Gaza.
Five other Palestinian militants who had been held at Abu Zaabal prison in Cairo made their way back to Gaza this week, using smuggling tunnels to circumvent Egyptian border controls. Abu Zaabal was raided in anti-government protests on Saturday.
Hamas sources said Nofal had commanded the ruling group's armed forces in central Gaza. (Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Dan Williams)