Egypt army destroys Gaza tunnels in Sinai mosque

The army says the discovered tunnels were used by "terrorists" in smuggling and movement between Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

Egypt army destroys Gaza tunnels in Sinai mosque

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Egyptian army announced on Sunday that it had destroyed six tunnels inside a mosque in northern Sinai leading to the Palestinian Gaza Strip.

In a statement on his Facebook page, army spokesman Ahmed Ali said the army had discovered tunnel openings inside the mosque used by "terrorists" in smuggling and in moving between Gaza and Sinai.

Ali said the tunnels were destroyed by water flooding.

The spokesman said, meanwhile, that the army had managed to arrest five "extremists," including a senior leader.

He said the arrestees were involved in a series of attacks on army personnel and policemen in the Egyptian side of Rafah.

The army has been launching a comprehensive crackdown on what it calls "militants" in Sinai for several months.

The crackdown also includes the destruction of hundreds of tunnels between Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian embassy asks Egypt to open Rafah crossing

The Palestinian Embassy in Cairo announced on Sunday contacts with Egyptian authorities on reopening the Rafah crossing on the border between Egypt's Sinai and the Gaza Strip.

"We are coordinating with our brothers in the Egyptian intelligence to allow patients to leave Gaza to seek treatment outside," Palestinian Ambassador Barakat al-Fara said in a statement posted on the embassy's website.

"The date for reopening the crossing will be announced in coordination with the Egyptian intelligence," he added without giving more details.

On Saturday, the Gaza Interior Ministry said Egypt continued to close the crossing – Gaza's only window to the outside world - for the 26th consecutive day.

In a statement, the border crossings authority, an affiliate of the Gaza Interior Ministry, said the continued closure of the crossing aggravates the suffering of thousands of patients, students and residents who work abroad.

Egypt has tightened its grip on its border with Gaza since the army ousted Mohamed Morsi, the country's first freely elected president, last July.

Egyptian authorities accuse Hamas, which has governed the strip since 2007, of interfering in Egypt's domestic affairs and carrying out attacks inside the country – charges Hamas emphatically denies.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 28 Nisan 2014, 09:37