Egypt army destroys 13 more Gaza tunnels

An Israeli army officer stands at the entrance of a tunnel said to be used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks, during an army organised tour for journalists on July 25, 2014. Egypt's army said Sunday, July 27 it has destroyed 13 m
An Israeli army officer stands at the entrance of a tunnel said to be used by Palestinian militants for cross-border attacks, during an army organised tour for journalists on July 25, 2014. Egypt's army said Sunday, July 27 it has destroyed 13 more tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, taking to 1,639 the overall number it has laid waste to. -- PHOTO: REUTERS

CAIRO (AFP) - Egypt's army said Sunday it has destroyed 13 more tunnels connecting the Sinai Peninsula to the Gaza Strip, taking to 1,639 the overall number it has laid waste to.

Cairo has poured troops into the peninsula to counter a rising insurgency since the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Mursi last year, and its security operation involves the destruction of these tunnels.

The Palestinian militant group Hamas, which is the main power in Gaza, reportedly uses the tunnels to smuggle arms, food and money into the blockaded coastal enclave.

Israel has been waging a military offensive on Gaza since July 8 to halt rocket fire, and it launched a ground assault on July 17 aimed at destroying the network of tunnels.

It accuses Hamas of using the tunnels to attacks on Israel.

Ties between Hamas and Cairo have deteriorated since the Egyptian army deposed Mursi on July 3, 2013. Hamas is an affiliate of Mursi's Muslim Brotherhood.

Cairo also accuses of Hamas of being involved in militant attacks inside Egypt, which have multiplied since Mursi was toppled.

Militant groups say their attacks are in retaliation for a police crackdown on Mursi's supporters. The crackdown has seen more than 1,400 people killed in street clashes.