Official says Egypt to expand buffer zone along Gaza boarder

An Egyptian official says the military has bulldozed at least 140 homes and more than 200 acres along the Gaza Strip border in efforts to expand a buffer zone that aims to reduce weapon smuggling and illegal militant crossings.

The governor of Northern Sinai province, Maj. Gen. Abdel-Fatah Hathour, told The Associated Press on Monday that the military began more than three weeks ago the third phase of a building-free zone with no trees, 1,500 meters (4,900 feet) wide and 10 kilometers (6 miles) long.

He says the government has promised to compensate those who lost their homes and farms. However, a tribal leader, Sheikh Issa Karafin, said some evacuees haven't received the money yet.

Egypt has been working since October 2014 to create the zone along the Gaza border.