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Indian expedition safe in Egypt

Written by: Staff

Cairo, Apr 25 (UNI) Egyptian authorities have provided intensive security cover for the Gondwanaland Expedition from India after yesterday's blast on the Red Sea coast killed 30 people.

The all-Indian expedition team, which is retracing the continental history of Asia and Africa, had passed through Taba, the scene of the blast, four days ago.

Since leaving Cairo on Sunday, the Egyptian police has provided security cover to the expedition members and had detained the team at a police checkpost because of delay in the arrival of an escort.

Yesterday, a police contingent had latched onto the expedition team from the start. ''Every time we stepped out of our vehicles, heavily armed guards would surround us,'' said Akhil Bakshi, the leader of the Gondwanaland Expedition.

''I stopped to take a picture of some potters and two policemen glued on to me. When we stopped for tea on the wayside, additional force was called in. At the end of it there were five pick-ups and about 20 gun-totting policemen,'' said Mr Bakshi.

Traffic was stopped at many places to give uninterrupted passage for the expedition team. ''I thought that all this heavy security was perhaps to make sure that foreigners don't steal any more of the Egyptian antiquities spared by the Western archaeologists. Later, when we arrived in Luxor, we heard about the bombings and deaths on the Egyptian Red Sea,'' said Mr Bakshi.

Earlier, on April 17, the expedition, which was flagged off from Shimla last month, was in Tel Aviv when a suicide bomber killed several people near a bus station.


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