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Yemeni Nobel Peace Prize winner barred from entering Egypt

Published: Updated:

Egyptian airport authorities have barred Nobel prize-winning Yemeni peace activist Tawakul Karman from entering the country, security sources said on Sunday.

Karman was sent back on the same plane she flew in, sources told Reuters.

The reason behind the ban was not immediately revealed.

Karman's official Twitter feed on Sunday said security forces at Cairo’s international Airport forced the Noble Prize winner to depart.

Egypt’s state news agency MENA did not provide a reason for the ban but said “it was worth noticing” that Karman has announced her solidarity with supporters of Egypt’s ousted Islamist President Mohamed Mursi.

Karman’s Twitter feed said she was detained at the airport and was prevented from heading to Rabaa el-Adwiya, a site where pro-Mursi protesters have been gathering over a month since his removal.

The mother of three, who became a figure of symbolic importance in the 2011 Yemeni uprising, is the first Arab woman to win the prize. In Yemen they call her the “Iron Woman” and the “Mother of the Revolution.”

Karman is a member of Yemen's leading Islamic opposition party, the Islah, a group that has caused alarm in the west, mainly because of its most notorious member, Abdul Majeed al-Zindani, a former Osama bin Laden adviser considered a terrorist by the Americans.

(With Reuters)