Egyptian security sources in central Sinai seized a store of explosives slated to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip on Sunday, Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported.

The report quoted Egyptian security sources as saying the explosives, located near a police station in the Sinai peninsula, were waiting to be picked up by smugglers who planned to illegally bring them into Gaza through smuggling tunnels.

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The raid was carried out by security forces, accompanied by tanks, police dogs and bomb disposal experts. The weapons cache was discovered in a two meter deep hole in the ground, covered with palm leaves.

A Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) report released last month said that smugglers of arms into the Gaza Strip were operating almost freely after a change of leadership in Egypt.

The report said with Egypt's new leaders preoccupied with stabilizing their country, "governance in Sinai is not high and this allows smugglers to operate almost without hindrance.

"Today the Egyptian regime's attention is focused on stabilizing the new government and this eases the Sinai smugglers' task," the report said.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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