Monday, September 03, 2007

Egyptian police find 2.75 tons of explosives in Sinai

Explosives, hidden in 54 plastic bags, found during search in area southwest of el-Arish Egyptian police found 2.75 tons of explosives in central Sinai on Sunday, a security official said.

The explosives, hidden in 54 plastic bags, were found during a search in the el-Gefgafa area, 62 miles southwest of the coastal town of el-Arish, the official told Reuters on a customary condition of anonymity.

Police seized 250 kg of explosives in northern Sinai on Aug. 19. Officials said at the time they suspected the explosives were destined for smuggling into the Palestinian territories.

Egyptian police routinely find large quantities of explosives and ammunition in Sinai, sometimes hidden in tunnels near the border with neighboring Gaza. On Aug. 5 they found 500 kg of explosives in el-Gefgafa.

Egypt said in July the smuggling of weapons, ammunition and drugs through tunnels from Egypt into Gaza had dropped since the Islamist movement Hamas took control in June.

Israel has accused Egypt of not doing enough to stop smuggling, and the US House of Representatives has proposed cutting $200 million of annual military aid to Egypt unless it improves border security and its human rights record

No comments: