Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Egyptian troops ''apprehended 227 people in Sinai and closed 102 Gaza-tunnels''

The Egyptian security forces in the Sinai have in the period 5 July to 4 August apprehended 227 individuals, army spokesman Ahmed Ali has reported in a statement on his Facebook page. Hundred three of these, from across Sinai, were held and are are currently being interrogated; from 124 others 60 were killed in clashes and 64 were injured.
Sinai suffered security problems since Hosni Mubarak's regime was toppled in January 2011. The situation escalated with the ouster of  the islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July. Militants attacked police and security forces on a daily basis in response to Morsi's overthrow.
Spokesman Ahmed Ali also announced that 102 tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip have been destroyed. According to the statement, the tunnels were used as 'an entry point by terrorists', as well as for smuggling weapons, drugs and cars, among others things. Also 40 petroleum tanks containing 2.7 million litres of gas and diesel, intended to be smuggled into Gaza, have been destroyed. according to Ali.  The armed forces destroyed four houses as well. that reportedly sheltered terrorists. Some 38 cars have been seized by authorities. The UN warned in late July in a statement that the crackdown on the tunnels, which were also used to bring in basic necessities, is worsening "the already difficult economic and humanitarian conditions in Gaza''.
On Wednesday a Mubarak-era parliamentarian was murdered by unknown assailants in Sinai. Abdel Hamid Silmi, 58, was killed by bullets fired from a moving car as he left a mosque early Wednesday after dawn prayers. Members of Silmi's prominent Fawakhreya tribe gathered at Al-Arish General Hospital, where Silmi was moved following the shooting.

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