Egypt's security forces said on Sunday they seized anti-aircraft missiles and launchers probably destined for the neighbouring Palestinian territory of the Gaza Strip.
The eight missiles and shoulder-mounted launchers were found in four wooden boxes near the Suez Canal, security officials said, adding the smugglers appeared to have fled moments before security forces arrived.
The weapons were smuggled into Egypt either through Sudan or Libya, said the officials, who requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
Israel has raised concerns that weapons smuggled from Libya, where a revolt against leader Moamer Khadafi left an abundance of arsenal, were finding their way to the Islamist Hamas-controlled Gaza.
Gun dealers are believed to smuggle the weapons into the Palestinian enclave through a network of tunnels also used to smuggle food and other contraband.
The Palestinian coastal enclave has been under blockade since 2006, after militants captured an Israeli soldier in a cross border raid.
by Rory Mulholland and Jay Deshmukh
(c) 2011 AFP
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