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Mankell status unknown after aid convoy attack

AFP/The Local · 31 May 2010, 14:30

Published: 31 May 2010 14:30 GMT+02:00

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The 62-year-old author of the Wallander detective series joined the flotilla from Cyprus by way of smaller boats "after almost 48 hours of playing hide-and-seek with Cypriot police," Ship to Gaza Sweden said in a statement.

After the ships were attacked and boarded on Monday morning by Israeli defence commandos reports indicate that at least 10 people were killed and dozens more injured.

Mankell is thought to have been one of the nine Swedes onboard the Sofia (Eleftheri Mesogeios) which was the last of the ships to be boarded. No contact has been made with any of the ships on Monday with all communications blocked and a full blackout imposed on all media reporting from the vessels.

The popular author, whose books about world-weary detective Kurt Wallander have sold more than 25 million copies worldwide and have been adapted to film and television, said last week that he was partaking in the flotilla to show his solidarity towards the Palestinian people.

"I think that when one talks about solidarity, one must always know that actions are what proves destiny," he told Sveriges Radio last Thursday.

"It is with actions that we prove we are ready to support something we believe is important," he said.

Among the other ten Swedes participating in the aid convoy including the theologian Ulf Carmesund, Jewish artist and musician Dror Feiler, Swedish Green Party MP Mehmet Kaplan, lecturer and author Edda Manga, and theology professor Mattias Gardell, the brother of Swedish comic Jonas Gardell.

It remained unclear on Monday afternoon whether any of them had been wounded in the attack as the first of the ships entered port.

Mattias Gardell was one of the two Swedes onboard the Turkish boat MS Mavi Marmara which is the one featured on film footage showing Israeli troops opening fire on the activists, according to the Svenska Dagbladet daily on Monday.

Story continues below…

The Freedom Flotilla, carrying more than 700 passengers, were on the last leg of a high profile mission to deliver some 10,000 tonnes of supplies to Gaza as part of a protest against the three-year long blockade.

Israel had said the attempt to break the Gaza blockade was illegal and warned that it would intercept the ships and detain the activists before deporting them.

The besieged ships are all set to be towed to the Israeli port of Ashdod where the activists are due to be detained and foreign citizens deported to their respective countries, according to the Israeli defence forces.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

15:44 May 31, 2010 by olive_tree
I wish they will be free soon from their kidnappers
15:55 May 31, 2010 by Mackan2017
The Israeli assassination squad that boarded the boats have obviously murdered the Swedes and thrown them over the side of the ship, to make it look like they were attempting to embark into smaller craft with the intention of storming ashore in Gaza, armed with bags of rice & bottles of clean water.

The Turkish Navy is well capable of blockading Israel....let's hope that they choose that option and maintain it for a long time.
17:34 May 31, 2010 by Rey Stockholm
This person had no business being there. This was a group of people looking for a conforntation and they got it.

Israel offered to clear goods through customs, not unreasonable given previous history of rocket attacks.
18:31 May 31, 2010 by Lea
To anyone with no hatred preoccupation towards either side of this conflict, it should be obvious what exactly was going to happen here. These people wanted to get into conflict. Well, they really gotten into ones themselves, so... why weep now? It's like to go with a knife to a policeman and complain about him beating the crap out of you.

Organizers behind this farce had the hidden agenda - create more hatred towards Israel. They will lie all they want now, multiply casualties, show up beaten, etc. because that's what they do. That's what they get paid for by the terrorist supporters. Ironically, these "peacemakers" actually have no value of the human life themselves, otherwise they would've chosen a truly peaceful way to express the protest, not to confront soldiers, not to throw them 2 stores down, not to use slingshots and metal rods. Israel, as any other normal country, would not tolerate risk to its soldiers and wait them to be killed, because they actually do value their lives. These "sailors" on the other hand, did not mind a few of themselves getting killed to get the political benefit.

Too bad Mankell joined this "Muslim brothers" sponsored act. So typical of brainwashed swedes...
20:11 May 31, 2010 by rymagnusson
So wait, the solution here is "oh they should have just given the aid to Israel who would allow it go into Gaza"? The same Israel that blocks aid and resources from getting into Gaza, thus the whole point of having humanitarian aid breaking through the blockade?
20:13 May 31, 2010 by babychuma
Yep they wanted confrontation, Europeans and Americans blunder around in dangerous areas as if they were in the US or EU and cops. medical professionals, ect. are going to show up if they get in trouble. Both sides in this conflict are convinced they are in the right and both are fully engaged, not a place to tread lightly. They have to be thrilled about the publicity though.
21:17 May 31, 2010 by Carbarrister
I hope they are okay, but it seems like a bunch of amateur "activists" who found themselves inolved in something for more serious than a protest.
21:34 May 31, 2010 by JoeSwede
Next up.... a humanitarian boat lift to Somalia and Iran.
21:55 May 31, 2010 by Lea

Imagine that they could have just disembarked onto Ashdod port, put their stuff through security checks, since there clearly could be things strictly prohibited by Israeli government due to ongoing hostile activity in Gaza Strip, put those on trailers, moved onto Erez checkpoint, all with all those 100+ journalists accompanying. I guess Israel would've had much more trouble resisting that. But no, they surely had to violate the sea blockade and get into a fight with the military.

Besides, if you just listen to more that what is shown on Hamas TV, Al Jazeera and Al Manar, you'd know that there is no dire shortage of humanitarian supply to Gaza. It is stopped only when those Hamas bastards decide to attack the border crossings and bite the hand that feeds them. Russian middle east researcher Satanovski said today that people in Russian provinces live far worse that those in Gaza.
21:59 May 31, 2010 by Prat
Jewish people, the children of Israel, shoulder Duty to defend the State of Israel.

The Duty is tougher with this regrettable Gaza Flotilla action (as in the bulldozer killing 23-yr old Rachel Corrie).

Another 'yellow card' best forgotten. Shalom.
22:10 May 31, 2010 by viper
Israel intentionally attacked the ship in international waters just to show her arrogance and how value less non jewish lives is to it.

@rymagnusson "there is no dire shortage of humanitarian supply to Gaza"

AL jazeera or Hamas TV could be biased towards Israel but haven't you listened to UN cries 1000 days of total blockade where people are forced to live in human condition.
23:45 May 31, 2010 by Investor612
Hard to muster any sympathy for Hamas supporters.
04:20 June 1, 2010 by wenddiver
Fully support Israel's right to enforce a Naval Bocade of materials as long as the terrorist group Hamas runs Gaza and shoots rockets at Israel.
08:13 June 1, 2010 by Octover
I don't even know why I bother, but it's really great to see all these commenters come out of the woodwork for these stories involving Israel.
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