CAIRO (Ma’an) -- Egyptian forces have demolished 1,055 smuggling tunnels under the borders with the Gaza Strip since January 2011, according to the commander of the Egyptian border guard forces.
Maj. Gen. Ahmad Ibrahim highlighted that 794 tunnels were destroyed in 2013.
Speaking to a Ma'an in el-Arish, Ibrahim said military engineering services and military intelligence of the Egyptian army started to design detection systems to be installed along the land borders in northeast Sinai and off the coast.
These systems, he said, will use modern technologies to detect smuggling tunnels so the army can destroy them.
Ibrahim applauded the Sinai tribes for cooperating with the army in its efforts to fight militant groups in the area. He added that the Egyptian authorities started to collect information about residents whose homes sustained damage during the latest crackdown against Jihadists in Rafah in order to compensate them.
Additionally, the army plans to create a “safe zone” in Rafah through which the Egyptian border guards will be able to effectively monitor and secure border areas.
"Minister of Defense Abdul-Fattah Sisi has given orders to reimburse residents whose homes sustained damage, or will be used for the purpose of creating a safe zone, either by paying them in cash or giving them new houses in modern neighborhoods," according to the commander.