Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula
Egyptian soldiers in the Sinai Peninsula AFP photo

The Egyptian army has intercepted a van containing a total of 19 Grad rockets heading for Cairo, the Al-Ahram newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The rockets were reportedly found as the vehicle was searched at a security checkpoint between Suez and Cairo. The driver of the vehicle was found to be in possession of an automatic rifle, complete with a magazine and 21 rounds.

A spokesman for the Egyptian armed forces confirmed to the Daily News Egypt website that the rockets found were Grads, and that they were found closer to Suez than Cairo. This, said the spokesman, led the armed forces to believe that this discovery is related to the ongoing violence in Sinai.

The driver of the vehicle has been referred to the prosecutor’s office, he told Daily News Egypt.

This latest discovery comes after a cache of counterfeit military equipment was found by members of the Ain Sokhna port authority.

The Sinai has become increasingly lawless since the fall of former president Hosni Mubarak in February 2011, and the terror attacks have only increased since the removal of President Mohammed Morsi by the Egyptian army.

Egypt’s has been cracking down on terrorists operating in the region and, following Israel’s approval, brought in two more infantry battalions into the Sinai this week.

The rockets may have also been meant for Gaza, as Egypt has on several occasions seized missiles and other arms destined for Gaza. The lawlessness in the Sinai makes it easy for smugglers to transfer arms to Gaza, which are then used to fire on southern Israel.

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