Egyptians are evacuating their homes along the border with Gaza following military orders, to make way for a planned buffer zone meant to stop militants and smugglers.

Egyptian officials say 62 homes were handed over to the army by Wednesday in the northern Sinai border town of Rafah.

They say the target is to empty out 880 houses — the homes of about 10,000 people. The government has promised financial compensation but the residents say they haven't received any money yet. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to media.

The residents were given short notice to pack up and leave the 13 kilometer- (8 mile-) area, which was placed under a state of emergency after an attack last week killed 31 soldiers.