Army destroys 5 tunnels, arrests 5 Palestinians attempting to cross Rafah border

Adam Koppeser
2 Min Read

Egypt’s armed forces destroyed five tunnels and apprehended five Palestinian nationals attempting to cross into North Sinai at Rafah during operations taking place between 7 and 10 August, according to the military spokesman’s official page.

This brings the total count of destroyed tunnels to 1664. During the operations, the Second Field Army also seized 5,400 pills of the drug Tramadol prepared for smuggling, which is often carried out through the aforementioned tunnels linking North Sinai in Egypt with the Gaza Strip in Palestine. The army announced the destruction of three such tunnels last week.

On 7 and 8 August, the army seized 20 kilos of hashish, and destroyed five SUVs in coordination with the air force and as well as two trucks loaded with 845 small arms – including rifles and shotguns – in the Western Desert near the Libyan border.

The army added it carried out counterterrorism raids in the governorates of North Sinai, Ismailia and Daqahleya on Sunday, during which an exchange of gunfire with militants left two dead, while 13 were arrested, and a number of vehicles “used in the implementation of terrorist operations” were destroyed.

Anti-smuggling operations Sunday managed to pick up 11 illegal immigrants, several hundred rounds of ammunition for machine guns, pistols and automatic rifles.

The operations come “in continuation of the efforts of the armed forces in the elimination of terrorist outposts in northern Sinai … in order to intensify actions to secure the country’s borders from illegal activities.”

The Sinai Peninsula has seen heightened volatility since the military-backed ouster of Mohamed Morsi in July 2013, leading to an ongoing campaign of security crackdowns on smuggling and militancy by the Egyptian armed forces.

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Adam Koppeser is the Op-Ed editor at Daily News Egypt. Available via email at [email protected], and on twitter @akoppeser.