The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit confirmed that the soldiers, as well as a police force, were on a routine mission meant to thwart smuggling activity near the border.
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The IDF added that while the route in question is a known arms and drugs trafficking path, it was the first time it was ever used for terror activity.
The military has increased its surveillance near the border due to intelligence indicating an imminent threat. The new surveillance measures deployed in the area include some of the IDF's most advanced systems, both on the ground and in the air.
IDF forces along the Egyptian border (Photo: Yoav Zitun)
According to available details, the troops spotted illegal activity near the Kerem Shalom crossing. While attempting to detain the suspects, the force spotted one of the suspects throwing a bag over the border fence and then fleeing the scene.
Border patrols performed in the early hours of Tuesday morning discovered the bag, which contained a powerful explosive device. Military sappers were able to neutralize the explosives safely.
The IDF believes that terrorists were planning to use the device as a roadside bomb against soldiers patrolling the border. The Egyptian security forces have been briefed of the incident. No suspects have been arrested so far.
"This event is yet another reminder that the smuggling routes near the border are used by terror organizations to plan attacks against the citizens of Israel and IDF soldiers," a military statement said.
"The force's vigilance and successful operation prevented a terror attack against Israel."
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