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Alleged Gaza arms cache seized in Sinai

CAIRO, April 1 (UPI) -- Egyptian security forces found a large arms cache, allegedly destined for the Gaza Strip, in the Sinai Peninsula Thursday, military officials said.

The cache, found in the mountainous terrain of central Sinai before dawn, included 100 anti-aircraft missiles, 40 rocket-propelled grenades and 40 other explosive devices, the officials told the Egyptian daily Al-Yum a-Saba.

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The commander of Egypt's security forces in Sinai, Gen. Mohammed Najib, was tipped about the cache, the newspaper said in a report published by the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

Smugglers of the weapons are believed to be members of a predominantly desert-dwelling Arab ethnic group known as Sinai Bedouin. The weapons were collected after battles with the goal of sneaking them into the strip, the officials said.

It was not clear if Egyptian authorities intended to make any arrests following the discovery of the weapons.

Last April, Egypt accused the Shiite Islamist political and paramilitary Lebanese organization Hezbollah of a plot to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip to attack Israeli tourist sites in the Sinai Peninsula, and to fire on ships in the Suez Canal.

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