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Rafah border reopened

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Security forces arrest several in possession of large amounts of drugs, destroy diesel gas smuggling network in Sinai

A Palestinian man sits waiting to cross into Egypt at the Rafah crossing terminal in the southern Gaza Strip on the border with Egypt on November 2, 2013.  (AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)

A Palestinian man sits waiting to cross into Egypt at the Rafah crossing terminal in the southern Gaza Strip on the border with Egypt on November 2, 2013.
(AFP PHOTO / SAID KHATIB)

By Mahitab Assran

The Rafah border with Gaza was reopened at 10am Saturday in both directions after being closed since 25 October, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.

According to a statement released on the official page of the army spokesman, security forces have been carrying out “security missions” all over Sinai and managed to destroy the largest diesel gas smuggling network so far. The network consisted of seven underground tanks near the Rafah border, four of which are concrete and three are plastic, storing 30 tons of diesel gas to be smuggled to Gaza through pipes.

A small sailing boat was also caught attempting to smuggle subsidised diesel gas to a commercial ship in the Red Sea.

Security forces also managed to destroy two tunnels that are used to transport people and merchandise with entrances inside houses in the city of Rafah, North Sinai.

Security forces also stopped an attempt at prospecting gold ore near the area of Um Raylan Valley and arrested a Sudanese national in possession of 5 metal detecting devices and a phone that communicates through satellite technology.

This comes in addition to an anti-drug campaign that led to the destruction of a drug plantation in North Sinai and its harvest of about 2,000 kilograms of marijuana.

Near Damietta 60 Egyptians and 2 Syrians were also arrested before attempting to illegally leave the country. Four other criminals were also arrested in possession of large amounts of marijuana and tramadol medicine near East Qantara.

The drug campaign also continued in North Za’afara, where security forces arrested a group of people with 738 packs of marijuana weighing 1,476 kilograms in total. Meanwhile northeast of Siwa, a car was found transporting 1,050 packs of cigarettes illegally.


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