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Egypt seizes US-made missiles en-route to Gaza

Jan. 4, 2013 4:32 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 7, 2013 10:47 A.M.)
EL-ARISH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Egyptian security forces seized a stash of US-made missiles on Friday in the Sinai peninsula, Ma'an's correspondent said.

Egyptian security sources told Ma'an that they believe the weapons were ready to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip via underground tunnels.

The six anti-tank and anti-aircraft missiles were stored in a remote desert area in north Sinai, with security forces forming a committee to seize the weaponry.

It is thought the weapons were most likely smuggled into Egypt via Libya, in an agreement that they would eventually be transferred into Gaza, security sources said.

Egyptian security forces are trying to reassert control over the Sinai, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip and which has suffered from lawlessness since the revolt that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak in February 2011.

The army announced recently it had seized smuggled rockets and other weapons in Egypt's western desert bordering Libya, which has been awash with arms since the civil war which toppled longtime Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

Egyptian President Muhammed Mursi has vowed to restore order in Sinai, but mistrust runs deep between the indigenous Bedouin population there and the central government in Cairo.

Reuters contributed to this report
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