Two Egyptian army officers die destroying North Sinai tunnel

Ahram Online, Saturday 18 Oct 2014

Two soldiers were also injured and two are missing

Two army personnel - an officer and a low-ranking officer - died on Saturday while destroying a tunnel in Egypt's North Sinai governorate, Al-Ahram’s Arabic news website reported.

Two conscripts were also injured and another two conscripts are still lost in the tunnel which was discovered in Al-Barahma district on the Egyptian side of the Rafah Border crossing.

The army continues to search for the missing soldiers, a source told Ahram Arabic news website.

The Sinai Peninsula is known for underground tunnels that connect the desert region, from the Egyptian side to the Palestinian Gaza strip.

At least 1,813 tunnels have been destroyed by Egypt's security personnel since January 2011, according to MENA.

The numbers of tunnels destroyed have increased since Egypt declared an offensive into North Sinai to counter a rising Jihadist insurgency based in the area.

The insurgency has left hundreds of police and army personnel dead in the last two years.

The tunnels were used to smuggle food and goods to Gaza, which has been under Israeli blockade since 2007. However, according to Egypt's authorities, the tunnels were also used to smuggle weapons and militants inside Egypt.

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