February 4, 2008 / 12:40 PM / 11 years ago

Egypt police detain Palestinian carrying explosives

EL-ARISH, Egypt (Reuters) - Egyptian police have detained a Palestinian man carrying explosives in the border town of Rafah, security sources said on Monday.

They said the man had been carrying an amount of TNT, but gave no further details.

In a separate incident, five Palestinians were detained in Sinai on their way to the capital Cairo, security sources said. The men were not carrying weapons or explosives.

Egyptian forces sealed the last breach in the border with the Gaza Strip on Sunday, stopping an influx of Palestinians into Egypt across a frontier blown open by Hamas Islamists in January in defiance of an Israeli-led blockade.

Hamas, which took over the Gaza Strip by force in June, had been under pressure from Egypt to stop the flow of hundreds of thousands of Gazans, who stocked up on much-needed food, fuel and other supplies.

Egypt, while not wanting to be seen as aiding the blockade, fears Islamist militants may have crossed amid the border chaos.

On Thursday, Egypt arrested 15 Hamas militants who had managed to slip into its territory with weapons and explosives despite Egyptian warnings not to cross the border with weapons, security sources said.

Writing by Aziz El-Kaissouni; Editing by Charles Dick

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