Egypt seizes arms and explosives in Sinai

ISMAILIA, Egypt - Egyptian security forces in Sinai seized 100 kg (220 lb) of high explosives smugglers were preparing to take into Gaza, a security source said on Monday.

By (Reuters)

Published: Mon 30 Aug 2010, 10:17 PM

Last updated: Mon 6 Apr 2015, 5:55 AM

The smugglers have been ferrying growing quantities of explosive materials into Gaza, defying a three-year blockade imposed by Israel after Hamas took control of the territory.

“Until now 12 small arms caches were found in which there were 250 anti-craft missiles and 100 kg of TNT high explosives, along with hundreds other weapons,” the source added.

He said the smugglers separate the explosive materials from the weapon casings before taking the explosives into Gaza.

“The information from the security forces until now indicates that smugglers have gathered these explosive materials to smuggle them to the Gaza strip through tunnels,” the source said.

Egypt has been confiscating weapons and explosives in Sinai for years.

Some of the arms are left over from past Arab-Israeli wars, but a Bedouin arms dealer said last month that many are brought in from Israel and Jordan and stored for use by Bedouin tribes for defence during state security sweeps and tribal conflicts.

Egypt has stepped up security in the mountainous region since a spate of bombings in Sinai resorts from 2004 to 2006.

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