Egypt foils 'infiltration attempt' across Libya border

Egypt-Libya border areas continue to see sporadic clashes between smugglers, security forces

By Mohamed al-Rayes

CAIRO (AA) - The Egyptian army on Thursday announced it had foiled a fresh "infiltration attempt" across the border with Libya.

“The air force succeeded in foiling an infiltration attempt by 10 4x4 vehicles loaded with arms and ammunition on the western [i.e., Libyan] border,” the army announced in a televised statement.

“The vehicles were completely destroyed,” the army asserted without providing a death toll or identifying the alleged infiltrators.

The border area between Egypt and Libya continues to witness sporadic clashes between Egyptian security forces and smugglers or gunmen, according to previous army statements.

In recent months, the army has reportedly foiled numerous attempts by “infiltrators” to enter Egyptian territory from neighboring Libya.

Libya has remained dogged by chaos since 2011, when a bloody NATO-backed uprising led to the ouster and death of longtime leader Muammar Gaddafi.

The ensuing power vacuum led to the emergence of several rival seats of government and a host of heavily-armed militia groups.

Last week, Egypt launched a wide-ranging security operation -- involving elements from both the army and police -- aimed at finding the perpetrators of a recent string of militant attacks.

Notably, the offensive comes one month before scheduled polls in which incumbent President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi hopes to win a second term in office.

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