Tuesday, July 28
Latest News
  1. Saudi-led air raids, clashes shatter Yemen truce
  2. Ministry: Cairo furniture factory fire kills 19 people
  3. Obama flies out from Addis Ababa, ending regional visit
  4. Kerry gears up to defend Iran deal for Mideast, Asia swing
  5. HRW says Saudi-led Yemen raid 'apparent war crime'
  6. Saudi king backs Turkish military action
  7. Top EU diplomat due in Iran for nuclear deal talks
  8. Libya court sentences Kadhafi son Seif al-Islam to death
  9. Erdogan: Syria safe zone will help 1.7 mn refugees return
  10. NATO stands with Turkey in face of 'terrorism'
  11. Monitor: Syria army, Kurds push IS out of Hasakeh city
  12. Obama urges Africa to end 'cancer of corruption'
  13. Obama condemns African leaders who won't give up power
  14. Obama says US stands with Africa against terror, conflict
  15. Russia names US foundation first 'undesirable' foreign group
  16. UN closes Iraq health programmes for lack of funding
  17. Saudi FM denounces 'aggressive' statements by Iran
  18. 'Friendly fire' kills Yemen loyalists despite truce
  19. US and Turkey to create 'IS-free zone' in Syria
  20. IOC strikes Middle East broadcast deal with beIN

Egypt seizes explosives en route to Sinai smugglers

June 2, 2013 1:17 P.M. (Updated: June 3, 2013 5:20 P.M.)
SHARM AL-SHEIKH, Egypt (Ma'an) -- Egyptian authorities seized one ton of explosives destined for smugglers in the Sinai on Saturday, police told Ma'an.

The explosives were earmarked for the destruction of rocky mountains to make way for smuggling tunnels into the Gaza Strip, police said.

The munition was found hidden in cartons in the boot of a car from Cairo heading to the Ahmad Hamadi tunnel, and was stopped by police for inspection.

The driver told police he had intended to transfer the explosives to smugglers in Sinai. The driver was detained, police said.

In February, Egypt began a crackdown on Gaza's underground tunnel system, pumping sewage over fears that they are being used to smuggle weapons and fighters into the restive Sinai Peninsula.

Gaza's tunnelers told Reuters in March that nearly 60 percent of the estimated 1,000 smuggling routes under the border had been closed.

The Hamas government in Gaza said last week it was willing to close down all smuggling tunnels under the Egyptian border once a commercial crossing opens, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said.

"We do not want the tunnels in the first place," said Ghazi Hamad. "They burden citizens and cause hundreds of fatalities, but they are essential because there is no alternative."

"The tunnels issue can be resolved by finding a solution that balances the security needs of Egypt and the humanitarian needs of the Gaza Strip through lawful commercial transactions monitored by both," he added in a statement.

The statement followed seizure of half a ton of diesel headed to the Gaza Strip by Egyptian police, en route to one of the smuggling tunnels.

The one crossing into the Gaza Strip from Egypt -- Rafah -- is a passenger only crossing. On exceptional occasions it has been opened for the transfer of commercial goods, prompting critics to accuse Egypt of complicity in Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip.

The tunnel industry thrived under Israel's blockade of the Gaza Strip, providing a lifeline by smuggling goods into the besieged enclave, ranging from cars, building materials to fast food.

Powered By: HTD Technologies
Ma'an News Agency
All rights reserved © 2005-2015