Manchester

Gaza ship Bolton man Baboo Zanghar back with family

Baboo Zanghar
Image caption Mr Zanghar was greeted at Manchester airport by his family

A British aid volunteer has been reunited with his family after being detailed by Israeli forces who stormed a flotilla of ships heading for Gaza.

Baboo Zanghar, from Bolton, said he had been left traumatised by the violence, in which nine civilian activists died.

The 43-year-old was one of 34 British citizens captured by commandos in international waters on Monday morning.

Arriving back at Manchester Airport on Friday evening, Mr Zanghar vowed to return to Gaza in the future.

The humanitarian campaigner arrived in Turkey on Thursday after being deported from Israel, before flying back to the UK.

Wounded civilians

"I feel very good, especially when the rumour was going around here that I no longer existed on earth, I died," he told the BBC.

"I rang my wife from the plane when we were still on the Tel Aviv ground and when she heard my voice she was choked she was so happy."

Nine civilian activists were killed after armed forces boarded the largest vessel carrying aid to the Gaza Strip on Monday.

The activists were attempting to defy a blockade imposed by Israel after the Islamist movement Hamas took power in Gaza in 2007.

Organisers of the flotilla said at least 30 people were wounded in the incident. Israel says 10 of its soldiers were injured, one seriously.

Israel had repeatedly said it would stop the boats, calling the campaign a "provocation intended to de-legitimise Israel".

"We are all very much traumatised after what the Israelis have done to us, because we were travelling in international waters," Mr Zanghar added.

"We've just been kidnapped basically, we've been kidnapped against our will.

"I would like to ask our Prime Minister... to ask the Israelis why they have harmed these unarmed civilian humanitarian aid convoys."

Mr Zanghar was on en-route to Gaza for the third time when violence engulfed the ship he was on, but he said it had not put him off returning.

"We're going to keep working on this humanitarian aid mission until we break the siege on Gaza," he added.

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