Police stormed a town in southern Egypt Monday, freeing at least 160 hostages and ending a six-day standoff with a band of drug and weapons traffickers, authorities said. At least one gunman was killed. The fierce battle began at dawn with police firing rocket-propelled grenades and mortars to force their way into the center of Nakhilah. The gunmen surrendered in the afternoon, releasing at least 160 civilians they had been holding. The Interior Ministry said 21 bandits were arrested, bringing to 43 the number of suspects captured in the standoff. The leader, Izzat Mohammed Hamid, was hospitalized. Police said he was critically wounded in the shootout. Other reports said his injuries were self-inflicted. Full Story
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