Security officers find more than three tons of explosives concealed in 79 large bags in near Rafah border crossing .
Published: 02.17.10, 16:11 / Israel News
Egyptian police seized more than three tons of explosives set to be smuggled into the neighboring Palestinian Gaza Strip, a security official said on Wednesday.
Security officers found the TNT on Tuesday concealed in 79 large bags in Sarsuriya district near the Rafah border crossing with Gaza, the official said.
Residents had tipped off police about the 3.5-ton cache, which had been prepared for smuggling through one of the many underground tunnels linking Gaza with Egypt.
Cairo has stepped up its efforts to close the tunnels, which are mainly used to send food and other goods to the impoverished Palestinian enclave, under blockade since the Islamist Hamas movement took it over in 2007.
Egypt is building an underground barrier to cut them off, after repeated efforts to find and demolish them, along with Israeli air strikes, failed to end the thriving smuggling trade.
Smugglers in Sinai say most of the tunnels, which are licensed on the Palestinian end by Hamas, are used to smuggle contraband, but Hamas operates a few used solely for weapons.
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