- Title: EGYPT: Egypt demolishes underground tunnels after Sinai attack
- Date: 9th August 2012
- Summary: RAFAH, SINAI, EGYPT, EGYPT (AUGUST 9, 2012) (REUTERS) MOUNDS OF RUBBLE USED FOR CONSTRUCTION IN GAZA NEAR ENTRANCE TO UNDERGROUND TUNNEL ENTRANCE TO UNDERGROUND TUNNEL LEADING TO GAZA MOUNDS OF RUBBLE ENTRANCE TO TUNNEL VARIOUS OF RUBBLE NEWLY BUILT TUNNEL VARIOUS OF METAL CAGE OVER TUNNEL OPENING VARIOUS OF TRUCKS CARRYING EARTH MOVING MACHINERY FOR TUNNEL DEMOLITION RAFAH BORDER WITH ISRAEL VARIOUS OF BORDER, WITH ARMY TANK PARKED IN FRONT OF GATE EXPLOSION AND SMOKE RISES AS MACHINERY DEMOLISHES UNDERGROUND TUNNEL NEAR EGYPT'S BORDER WITH ISRAEL
- Embargoed: 24th August 2012 13:00
- Location: Egypt
- Country: Egypt
- Topics: International Relations,Politics
- Reuters ID: LVABYSXZ27XVKSW4FEHVJG8LSV5Q
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Egypt was working on sealing off 1,200 underground tunnels which connect the town of Rafah with the Gaza Strip on Thursday (August 9).
The move follows an attack on a police station in Sinai on Sunday (August 5) which killed 16 Egyptian and wounded several others.
The tunnels are used to smuggle people to and from Gaza, along with food, fuel and building materials, which are a lifeline for the small territory's population.
Mounds of rubble which were destined to be used for construction in Gaza were seen across parts of Rafah on Thursday.
Egypt began work to seal off some of these tunnels into the Gaza Strip on Tuesday (August 8).
Islamist gunmen are thought to have entered Egypt through one of the tunnels, opening fire on the soldiers as they broke their fast for Ramadan at sunset.
The 35 militants stole an army tank and 8 of them were later killed by an Israeli aircraft as they neared the border.
Hamas, which has governed Gaza since 2007, denied Egyptian and Israeli charges that some of the gunmen came from its side of the border.
But after pressure from Egypt, Hamas said on Monday (August 7) it was arresting radical Salafi Islamists in Gaza and was also shutting down the smuggling tunnels from its end.
Sealing the tunnels will be an uncomfortable move for Mursi who has brought Egypt closer to the Islamist Hamas movement that rules Gaza since he came to power in June, promising to help improve the life of Palestinians there.
In a statement on Tuesday (August 7), the office of Ismail Haniyeh, the prime minister of the Hamas government in the Gaza Strip, said he had phoned Mursi to deny involvement in the attack and suggest forming a permanent joint security committee.
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