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Egypt Security Finds TNT Hoard Near Israel Border | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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EL-ARISH, Egypt (AFP) – Egyptian security forces have found a hoard of almost a tonne of explosives in Sinai near the border with Israel, a security official said on Wednesday.

Nine-hundred kilograms of TNT were found packed in 17 bags, the official said, adding that three Palestinians and two Jordanians were arrested in the North Sinai town of Sheikh Zweid as part of the same operation.

The Palestinians appear to have entered Egypt illegally from neighbouring Gaza and are being questioned, the official said.

The discovery of the explosives came amid heightened security measures in Sinai, where police have been searching for members of an alleged Hezbollah cell which Egypt says planned attacks in the country.

Egypt’s public prosecutor announced last week that a security investigation had found that a cell of 49 members had been planning “hostile operations” in Egypt at the behest of Lebanese Shiite militant group Hezbollah.

Some 25 members of the cell have been arrested.

Hezbollah’s chief Hassan Nasrallah confirmed on Friday that one of the 25 men arrested was a Hezbollah agent tasked with smuggling weapons to Palestinian militants in Gaza.

Nasrallah denied that the man, identified as Sami Shihab, was planning attacks in Egypt.

Hezbollah, backed by Iran and Syria, is a vocal supporter of Hamas and has lashed out at Egypt for closing its border crossing with the Palestinian enclave, the only one that bypasses Israel.

Israel last week told its citizens to leave the Sinai, a popular destination for Israeli tourists during the Jewish Passover holiday, because of a threat of attacks or kidnappings by Hezbollah.