Egypt's Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim announced Friday that police had thwarted the smuggling of a large shipment of heavy weapons and ammunition from Libya to Gaza, Egyptian news site Al Youm7 (The Seventh Day) reported.

According to the report, Ibrahim said at a press conference that the shipment included 138 rockets and some seven thousand rounds of ammunition.

Ibrahim said that an exchange of fire ensued during the seizure of the weapons, in which one of the smugglers was killed.

Last month Egyptian security forces have seized 40 surface-to-surface missiles and other heavy weapons being smuggled along the northern coastal highway from Libya by a group from the Sinai Peninsula, state media reported on Thursday.

The arms had been seized on the road between Marsa Matrouh and Alexandria on the Mediterranean coast, state media reported. The smugglers had confessed to bringing the weapons to the country to sell them on to dealers, the state news agency MENA said. There was no word on the source of the weapons.

Israeli officials said last year that Libya, which borders Egypt to the west, had become a major source of weapons being smuggled into the Sinai Peninsula, which borders both Israel and the Hamas-run Gaza Strip. The MENA news agency said the cache included mortars and heavy ammunition.

Reuters contributed to this report

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