Egyptian army destroys 13 more Gaza tunnels
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Egyptian army destroys 13 more Gaza tunnels

Cairo has eliminated 1,639 tunnels that run into Sinai thus far

Egyptian army personnel supervise the destruction of tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip at the border, near the town of Rafah, northern Sinai, Egypt, September 2013. (photo credit: AP/AP Television)
Egyptian army personnel supervise the destruction of tunnels between Egypt and the Gaza Strip at the border, near the town of Rafah, northern Sinai, Egypt, September 2013. (photo credit: AP/AP Television)

Egypt’s army said Sunday it has destroyed 13 more tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, taking to 1,639 the overall number it has laid waste to.

Cairo has poured troops into the peninsula to counter a rising insurgency since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi last year, and its security operation involves the destruction of these tunnels.

The Palestinian terror group Hamas, which rules Gaza, reportedly uses the tunnels to smuggle arms, food and money into the blockaded coastal enclave.

Israel has been waging a military offensive in Gaza since July 8 to halt rocket fire, and it launched a ground operation on July 17 aimed at destroying the network of tunnels that infiltrate into Israel.

Ties between Hamas and Cairo have deteriorated since the Egyptian army deposed Morsi on July 3, 2013. Hamas is an affiliate of Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood.

Cairo also accuses Hamas of being involved in militant attacks inside Egypt, which have multiplied since Morsi was toppled.

Militant groups say their attacks are in retaliation for a police crackdown on Morsi’s supporters, which has seen more than 1,400 people killed in street clashes.

Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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