Egypt's army has destroyed 1,813 tunnels in Sinai since 2011: MENA

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Oct 2014

The Egyptian military says it has destroyed 1,813 smuggling tunnels that connect the restive peninsula to Gaza

Egypt's military has destroyed a total of 1,813 smuggling tunnels in the Sinai Peninsula since January 2011, state news agency MENA reported.

The network of smuggling tunnels connects the desert region with the Palestinian Gaza Strip, controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement.

Egypt's army has been waging an offensive in North Sinai to counter a rising jihadist militancy that has left hundreds of police and army personnel dead in the last two years.

The military has raided suspected sites and has routinely announced the killing or arrest of militants.

Egypt has accused Hamas of interfering in its internal politics. Hamas has vehemently denied such accusations.

Gaza has been under an Israeli blockade since 2007.

Hamas is an ideological offshoot of Egypt's now-banned Muslim Brotherhood group, from which ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails.

Relations between Egypt and Hamas, which has ruled Gaza since 2007 until recently, have been tense since Morsi's ouster in July, 2013.

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