Blair cancels Gaza visit over security concerns

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Tony Blair has cancelled a trip to Gaza in his role as Middle East envoy because of security concerns, a spokeswoman for the former Prime Minister said today.

Ruti Winterstein said that Mr Blair's visit was cancelled because of what she called "specific threats" against him. She did not give details.

Mr Blair's visit was to be his first trip to the coastal territory since the Islamic militant group Hamas seized control of Gaza a year ago.

He was expected to meet with traders and inspect a northern Gaza waste water project being built with international funds.

Hamas was to have provided security for Mr Blair's trip.

Although Hamas has mostly pacified once lawless Gaza, shadowy extremist groups are still believe to operate in Gaza.