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Egypt seizes two tons of explosives bound for Sinai

Reuters

February 15, 2013 | 1:22 pm

Israeli soldiers in Israel's Negev desert, near Kibbutz Sde Boker, on Feb. 14. The main mission of Caracal is routine patrols on Israel's border with Egypt to intercept infiltrators and smuggling from the Sinai desert. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

Israeli soldiers in Israel's Negev desert, near Kibbutz Sde Boker, on Feb. 14. The main mission of Caracal is routine patrols on Israel's border with Egypt to intercept infiltrators and smuggling from the Sinai desert. Photo by Darren Whiteside/Reuters

Egypt seized two tons of explosives hidden in a truck carrying a shipment of fruits and vegetables bound for Sinai on Friday, security sources said.

The country's security forces are trying to reassert control over the Sinai, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip and has descended into lawlessness since the revolt that overthrew President Hosni Mubarak two years ago.

"We found the amount in a shipment, concealed under some fruits and vegetables... We found the explosives packed inside 100 plastic bags," a security source said.

In January, Egypt seized six anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets in the Sinai peninsula that smugglers may have intended to send to the Hamas-ruled Gaza strip.

The confiscated explosives were of a type used for demolishing stones in quarries.

When interrogated, the truck driver said he was unaware he was transporting explosives and that a businessman had asked him to take the goods to Sinai where it would be collected.

Reporting Yousri Mohamed; Writing by Asma Alsharif; Editing by Michael Roddy

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