Egyptian security forces
Photo: Reuters

Egypt uncovers 100 kg explosives cache near Gaza border

Explosives cache containing TNT hidden in sacks near country's volatile border with Strip; police act on tip from local Bedouins

Egyptian security forces on Monday uncovered an explosives cache containing 100 kilograms (220.5 pounds) of TNT hidden in sacks near the country's volatile border with the Gaza Strip, a police officer said.


The cache, found buried a few feet deep in the soil in a deserted area of the northern Sinai peninsula, came after police acted on a tip from local Bedouins, said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to media.


The find took place near Sheik Zuwiyed town, some 25 kilometers (15 miles) west of the Rafah border crossing between Egypt and the Gaza Strip.


The Bedouins led the authorities to the location of the explosives. A total of three sacks of TNT were found, the official said.


Smuggling across the border into Gaza or Israel has long provided a livelihood for some Bedouin. Weapons, cigarettes and foreigners seeking jobs in Israel are all taken surreptitiously across the border.


Israel has repeatedly accused Egypt of not doing enough to stop weapons smuggling into Gaza, particularly through tunnels. Cairo has promised it would make a greater effort to stop smuggling.


The Sinai has seen three major bomb attacks since October 2004. The blasts in the resorts of Sharm el-Sheik, Taba and Dahab killed 125 people. The government blamed the attacks on a local Islamic militant group, which appears to have been inspired by al-Qaeda ideology.


Earlier this month, Egypt resealed the tense border with the coastal strip, which was breached for twelve days since late January when Gaza's militant Hamas rulers blew up a boundary wall and set off a flood of Palestinians into Egypt to shop for supplies.


פרסום ראשון: 02.18.08, 15:50
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