updated 3/23/2009 6:05:35 AM ET 2009-03-23T10:05:35

Egyptian police seized a flock of 560 sheep set to be smuggled into the Gaza Strip through underground tunnels, a security official said Monday.

The flock was discovered on Sunday night, along with the entrances to six tunnels in the Salah el-Din district north of the Rafah border crossing, the official said.

He spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the press.

Four out of the six tunnels were at comparatively large at three-meters in diameter, the official added.

Police seized five tons of cement and found a half ton cache of TNT hidden in near the border.

Crippling blockade
Gaza has been under a crippling Israeli and Egyptian blockade since Hamas violently seized control of Gaza in June 2007.

The tunnels are the main artery for food entering Gaza. But they are also a conduit for weapons to Gaza militants.

Israel destroyed many tunnels during its recent three-week military offensive in Gaza, but smuggling continues.

More on Gaza Strip   |  Palestinians

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