By Mohamed al-Rayes
CAIRO (AA) - The Egyptian army on Friday announced it had destroyed a cross-border tunnel, three warehouses and a number of “hideouts” used by “militant elements” in the northern Sinai Peninsula.
“Army units detained two militants, along with a number of other people suspected of supporting local terrorist groups,” army spokesman Tamer al-Refai said in a statement.
“Three of the militants’ warehouses, which had contained explosive devices, were found and destroyed, along with several militant hideouts,” he added.
According to al-Refai, the army had also destroyed a cross-border tunnel linking North Sinai to the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Due to an ongoing blockade by Israel and Egypt, the Gaza Strip’s roughly two million Palestinian inhabitants have come to rely on a network of cross-border tunnels to import basic commodities, including food, fuel and medicine.
The Sinai Peninsula has remained the epicenter of a deadly militant insurgency since 2013, when Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s first freely-elected president, was ousted in a bloody military coup.
Since then, hundreds of Egyptian security personnel in Sinai have been killed in militant attacks, especially in the peninsula’s volatile northeastern quadrant, which shares borders with both Gaza and Israel.