Egypt destroyed 1055 Gaza tunnels since January 2011: Army official

Ahram Online, Friday 4 Oct 2013

794 illegal smuggling tunnels between Egypt's Sinai, Gaza Strip have been destroyed in this year alone, Egypt army says

In this image taken from video, Egyptian Army personnel supervise the destruction of tunnels between the Egypt and the Gaza Strip at the border near the town of Rafah, northern Sinai (Photo: AP)

Egypt's border guard head Major General Ahmed Ibrahim announced on Friday that the armed forces have demolished 794 tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip from the Egyptian border city of Rafah since the beginning of the year, amid an ongoing security crackdown on increased militant activity in the restive Sinai Peninsula.

Ibrahim added that security forces have destroyed 1055 tunnels in total since January 2011, following the popular uprising against the Mubarak regime.

He went on add that the armed forces – with the help of military intelligence – have begun combing over 13 kilometres along the Rafah borders with "developed equipment" that can detect underground tunnels.

Following the dispersal of two pro-Morsi sit-ins in Cairo on 14 August, Egypt closed the Rafah border with the Gaza Strip and intensified its military operation in Sinai due to increased armed attacks on security units there.

Ongoing destruction operations of what officials say are hundreds of tunnels linking Egypt's eastern border with the blockaded Palestinian enclave have continued.

The Gaza Strip is controlled by the Hamas Islamist movement, an ideological offshoot of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood group from which the ousted president Mohamed Morsi hails.

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