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November 17, 2014 4:55 pm

Egypt to Double Gaza Buffer Zone After Discovery of Longer Smuggling Tunnels

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Egyptian man waving his country's flag during 2011 protests. Photo: wiki commons. – The Egyptian army has announced plans to double its security buffer zone along the Gaza border to 1 kilometer (about six-tenths of a mile) in an effort to end weapons smuggling by terrorist groups in the region.

Egypt’s decision came after the discovery of longer tunnels—spanning between 800 and 1,000 meters (2,625 to 3,280 feet)—under the Gaza border, Al-Ahram reported.

The initial plan to create the buffer zone came after an upsurge in terrorist attacks against Egyptian military and police personnel in the Sinai Peninsula by terrorist groups such as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, which recently declared allegiance to the Islamic State.

Egypt has accused Gaza-ruling Hamas—an offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, which is now a state-banned terrorist organization in Egypt—of supporting terror groups in the Sinai Peninsula.

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