Egyptian army pumps water to destroy smuggling tunnels into Gaza Strip

By Doug G. Ware  |  Sept. 18, 2015 at 3:38 PM
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GAZA, Sept. 18 (UPI) -- Egyptian forces on Friday pumped sea water into underground tunnels used to smuggle goods into the Gaza Strip.

Egypt's aim was to destroy the tunnels, which are believed to be used to smuggle food, medicine and construction materials into the besieged Gaza Strip.

The Cairo government has for years been trying to get rid of the tunnels, which extend underground into the Palestinian-held territory. Pumping sea water into the pipes causes them to cave in.

"The Egyptian army started pumping large amounts of water from the Mediterranean Sea into the tunnels through large underground pipes that have hundreds of holes in them," tunnel owner Abu Mohammad told the state-run Anadolu News Agency. "These pipes were extended in the past in a trench that extends across the borders between Egypt and the Gaza Strip."

Some tunnel owners tried to pump the sea water out, but the efforts had little effect, the Middle East Monitor reported Friday.

Egyptian forces destroyed the tunnels because Cairo believes they are also used to facilitate militants' activities.

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