Picture of a 2.8 kilometre-long tunnel discovered by the Egyptian border guards, on Sunday, March 29, 2015. Image provided by the Egyptian armed forces.
CAIRO, Mar 29 (Aswat Masriya) - Egyptian border guards have discovered a tunnel, 2.8 kilometres long and three meters deep, Military Spokesman Mohamed Samir said.
The tunnel was used by "terrorists" and "criminals" in the smuggling of individuals, goods, and "arms and ammunition", Samir said in a statement on his official Facebook page.
Egypt is building a "buffer zone" at the shared border area between North Sinai and the Gaza strip. The cabinet issued a decision last October to clear 500 metres of the border area of civilians.
The area was, however, doubled to 1,000 meters in November, after discovering some tunnels in the Peninsula over 800 metres long.
Security forces have been targeting the illegal tunnels dug up in Sinai to connect it with Gaza, intensifying tunnel demolition starting July 2013.
Egyptian authorities say the tunnels are used to smuggle arms to militants in the Peninsula.
A report by the World Food Programme (WFP) in February 2014 said that since 2007, tunnel trade represented "the main supply and commercial trade route for goods into Gaza."
The WFP report said that the "closure of the tunnels by Egypt in July 2013 hampers the few remaining drivers of economic growth in the Gaza strip." It added that the closure affected "employment directly linked to the tunnel economy" and caused a reduction of food commodity imports.