Egyptian security forces near the Mediterranean resort city of Marsa Matrouh have intercepted a convoy of three cars carrying weapons which included 50 surface-to-surface and anti-tank rockets, a mortar, thousands of bullets and seven assault rifles en route to the Sinai Peninsula.
According to Egyptian media, the arms shipment originated from Libya and was bound for the area between El-Arish and Rafah.
According to Al-Sharq Al-Awsat newspaper report, three Egyptian Bedouin drivers were arrested as they confessed that thy were transporting the weapons to Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula to use “against army and police forces securing the borders to create chaos before presidential elections.”
The newspaper quoted Egyptian security as saying that Iran was supporting radical Islamic groups in the Sinai peninsula, the Islamic Jihad and Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza Strip to open a new front against Israel.
Media outlets have reported that weapon smuggling across the Egypt-Libya border has increased since the fall of Muammar Gaddafi last year.
Earlier, Egyptian officials said that security forces arrested 40 suspects in the city of El-Arish near the Gaza Strip, including a Palestinian wanted on weapons charges.
Egyptian security are battling for control of the peninsula since the overthrow of Egyptianlast year loosened the grip of state security in the isolated Sinai.
Military officials also warned that Jihadi groups want to oust state forces and have launched a number of deadly attacks on security officers.