Egypt authorities seize smuggled anti-aircraft weapons

AFP, Sunday 25 Sep 2011

Egypt's security forces say they have confiscated anti-aircraft missiles, launchers destined for Gaza

Egypt's security forces said on Sunday that they had seized anti-aircraft missiles and launchers probably destined for the besieged Gaza Strip next door.

The eight missiles and shoulder-mounted launchers were found in four wooden boxes near the Suez Canal, security officials said, adding that the smugglers appeared to have fled moments before the arrival of security forces.

The weapons were smuggled into Egypt either through Sudan or Libya, said the officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Israel has raised concerns lately that arms smuggled from Libya, where a revolt against leader Muammar Gaddafi has left an abundance of surplus weaponry, were finding their way into the Gaza Strip, governed by Palestinian resistance group Hamas.

Gunrunners are believed to smuggle the weapons into the Palestinian enclave through a network of tunnels also used to smuggle food, fuel and other contraband.

The Palestinian coastal enclave has been under a debilitating Israeli blockade since 2006.

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