EL-ARISH, Egypt – Egyptian security officials say authorities have ordered residents living along the country's eastern border with the Gaza Strip to evacuate so they can demolish their homes and set up a buffer zone to stop weapons and militant trafficking between Egypt and the Palestinian territory.
The Tuesday measure comes four days after militants attacked an army post, killing at least 31 soldiers in the restive area in the northeastern corner of the Sinai Peninsula. After the attack, Egypt declared a state of emergency and dawn-to-dusk curfew there.
The buffer zone, which will include water trenches to thwart tunnel diggers, will be 500 meters (yards) wide and extended along the 13 kilometer (9 mile) border. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to brief reporters.