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Dignite-Al Karama, Gaza-Bound French Boat, Escapes From Greece While Activists Detained

Gaza Protest

First Posted: 07/05/11 09:06 AM ET Updated: 09/04/11 06:12 AM ET

PARIS (AP) — French pro-Palestinian activists say a pleasure craft linked to a flotilla banned from sailing from Greek ports to the Gaza Strip has left Greek waters and is on its way.

Jean-Claude Lefort, a spokesman for the group, told The Associated Press Tuesday that the "Dignite-Al Karama" left port near Athens early Monday and has reached international waters. On board are eight activists and two crew members.

It is the first and so far only boat linked to the flotilla. Other boats, including one other French boat, have been blocked by Greek authorities.

Greek authorities say they are looking into the report.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Pro-Palestinian activists say two Canadians and an Australian linked to a flotilla that seeks to leave Greece for the Gaza Strip have been detained.

David Heap, a spokesperson for a boat carrying dozens of Canadians that tried to leave Greece despite a ban, said Tuesday the three activists could face charges. He identified them as Canadians Sandra Ruch and Soha Kneen, and Australian Michael Coleman.

The boat tried to leave the southern Greek island of Crete on Monday, but was forced to turn back by Coast Guard vessels.

The American captain of a flotilla boat carrying U.S. activists was arrested in a similar incident Friday.

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Filed by Curtis M. Wong  |