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Feb 15, 12:51 PM EST

Egypt security forces discover longest Gaza smuggling tunnel


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EL-ARISH, Egypt (AP) -- Egyptian security officials say they have found a 2.5-kilometer (1.5-mile) smuggling tunnel leading into the Gaza Strip, the longest such passageway discovered in their crackdown on cross-border smuggling.

They say the tunnel was operated by the military wing of the Palestinian Hamas movement, the Izzedine al-Qassam Brigades, which Egypt says is a terrorist organization that played a role in recent attacks against Egyptian security forces.

Detonators and communications devices were among the devices found in the tunnel, which will be destroyed, officials say, speaking on condition of anonymity because they aren't authorized to brief reporters.

After a major attack in October, the Egyptian military began clearing a buffer zone along the border with Gaza in an attempt to stamp out a cross-border network of tunnels that Hamas considers a lifeline.

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