3 die in land mine explosions in Sinai Peninsula

Two land mine explosions Monday killed three Egyptians, including two officers, and seriously wounded two others in the Sinai Peninsula, officials said. Police said a land mine went off as a bulldozer was trying to dig a tunnel to lay a gas pipeline, immediately killing its driver, Ibrahim Khadir al-Sabky. They said the explosion occurred around 7:00 p.m. local time (1600 GMT) some 5 kilometers (3 miles) south of Dahab, a resort town on the Red Sea. A second explosion occurred when a military team arrived to clear from the area land mines that were believed to have been planted during the 1967 War with Israel. Two officers, Lt. Col. Omar Mohammed Ali and Sergeant Abdel Rahim Taha, died in the second explosion, police said on condition of anonymity, because they are not authorized to give statements about military affairs. Two other soldiers were badly wounded, said Saeed Eissa, head of the Medical Emergency Unit in Southern Sinai. He said they were taken to a hospital in Sharm el-Sheik for treatment. Millions of land mines are believed to have been planted during the Israeli occupation of the desert peninsula that ended in 1980 after Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel.