A 2,500 metre long tunnel was discovered Sunday in Egypt’s North Sinai, said a representative from military spokesman’s office.
This marks the longest tunnel discovered in North Sinai, and is still being inspected by the armed forces.
The discovery came during a crackdown launched by the armed forces on smuggling tunnels leading in and out of Sinai, as the tunnels are used for “terrorist infiltration” and “smuggling of weapons” following the 24 October attack that left at least 30 security personnel dead.
Another large scale attack took place on 29 January, which left also at least 30 dead. “State of Sinai” claimed the attack, announced that “hundreds” were killed.
Following both attacks, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi referred to the involvement of “foreign elements”.
The Egyptian government is set to implement a 5km-long buffer zone as one of the security measures taken in the peninsula which also requires the relocation of residents living along the Rafah border. The first phase of the buffer zone, which covers 500 metres, will ensure the destruction of all the tunnels. The armed forces have initiated the evacuation process of the second phase, which covers an additional 500 metres.
The buffer zone was initially planned to be 1km, however following the discovery of a 1,700 metre long tunnel in late December, North Sinai Governor Abdel Fattah Harhour announced the extension of the buffer zone to 5km.
The Egyptian government is disbursing compensation for relocated residents on their homes and lands. However, people who had infiltrating tunnels inside their houses will not be compensated for their houses or lands, Harhour told Daily News Egypt.