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Egypt Foils Attempt to Smuggle Rockets from Libya

Security officials in Egypt confiscate Grad rockets and rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition bound for Sinai.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 11/22/2012, 6:14 AM

Remains of Grad that hit EIlat
Remains of Grad that hit EIlat
Israel Police

Security officials in Marsa Matrouh in Egypt confiscated on Wednesday 108 Grad rockets and 400,000 rounds of anti-aircraft ammunition bound for Sinai, according to the official MENA news agency.

According to the report, the weapons were smuggled from Libya.

The head of Egypt's drug control was informed that smugglers would take the Matrouh International Road from Libya overnight, reported MENA. Authorities set up several security checkpoints and police patrolled the desert roads to arrest the smugglers.

Security authorities stationed in the Ras al-Hekma area found the weapons in a vehicle that had driven off the road. The people inside reportedly fled. Officials are intensifying efforts to find and arrest the smugglers, said MENA.

In June, Egyptian security forces seized a large stash of weapons, including rockets and automatic machine-guns, smuggled into the country from Libya and allegedly bound for Gaza.

Egypt's interior minister, Gen. Mohammed Ibrahim, said that among the munitions confiscated were 138 grad rockets and some 7,000 rounds of ammunition. He called the bust the "biggest" in the history of the Interior Ministry.

In April, two Grad rockets believed to have been smuggled from Libya were fired from Egypt's Sinai desert toward Eilat. No one was hurt.

In May, Egyptian forces seized a large shipment of heavy weaponry on the Mediterranean coast. The three-vehicle shipment, which also likely came from Libya, included 40 surface-to-surface missiles, 17 rocket-propelled-grenade launchers, automatic weapons and 10,000 shell.

Terror groups based in Gaza acquired anti-aircraft and anti-tank rockets from Libya during the civil war in 2011 which resulted in the toppling of the Qaddafi regime.