The Egyptian authorities have seized 101 surface-to-surface missiles in the Beheira governorate, the state TV reported on Tuesday, amid fears of a political deadlock that could trigger an armed confrontation between Islamist groups and a military establishment reluctant to relinquish power.
The state television said Egypt’s Anti-Drug General Administration discovered the missiles, a launching pad, and dozens of hand guns loaded in two cars. The suspects were detained and an investigation has been launched, the television added.
Sameh Rashed, political analyst of Al-Ahram Institute, said that security forces occasionally seize arms shipments smuggled from Libya or other countries and destined to the Gaza Strip or Sinai.
He played down any connection between the seizure of the weapons and a broiling political crisis that threatens to plunge the country into turmoil.
Recent moves by the ruling military council to dissolve the Islamist-dominated parliament and issue a constitutional document which hands it sweeping powers have raised fears of violence.
Even the Pentagon, the traditional ally of the generals in Egypt, expressed “deep concern” about the military’s plan to stay in power.