Egyptian police have found 500 kilograms of explosives buried near a central desert village in the Sinai Peninsula, a police officer said Sunday.
Capt. Mohammed Badr of the northern Sinai police force said a tip from local Bedouins regarding alleged drug smuggling instead led officials to discover the explosives packed in 10 plastic sacks near the Gifgafa village located about 80 kilometers south of El-Arish.
Wide parts of the Sinai desert are used for drug and weapons smuggling into the Gaza Strip. Last month, police found more than 1,200 kilograms of TNT explosives buried in the northern desert.
Islamic terrorists have carried out three major bomb attacks in Sinai since October 2004. The blasts in the resorts of Sharm el-Sheik, Taba and Dahab killed 125 people. The government blamed the attacks on a local Islamic insurgent group, which appears to have been inspired by al-Qaida ideology.