5,000 Egyptian troops deployed near Gaza Strip border following Israeli threat
Up to 5,000 Egyptian troops deployed near the Egypt-Gaza Strip border Saturday following reports of a possible Israeli "smart bomb" attack on suspected smuggling tunnels, security officials said. According to the AP, troops fanned out across the northern Sinai peninsula, patrolling roads in and out of border towns and setting up checkpoints, an Egyptian interior ministry official said in Cairo.
Police were launching raids on suspected hideouts as well, he added. Last week, Israel said it had located 15 tunnels burrowed under the Egypt-Gaza Strip border.
Tel Aviv-based newspaper Maariv reported Friday that Israel planned to use precision-guided weapons to destroy the tunnels. But the Egyptian interior ministry official denied the deployment of soldiers was in response to the report. "This is considered a security precaution in Sinai, and it does not have anything to do with the latest media reports," he said.