Unprecedented amounts of weapons and ammunition are being smuggled into Egypt from Libya, a senior Egyptian military official said just days after suspected smugglers killed 21 Egyptian military border guards on the Egyptian–Libyan border.

The senior Egyptian military official, who spoke to Asharq Al-Awsat on the condition of anonymity because he is not permitted to speak to the media, said: “The quantities of weapons, ammunition and drugs being smuggled are unprecedented,” citing the porous 693 meter (1,115 km) long border with Libya, and the escalating security vacuum in Egypt’s western neighbor.

“It is difficult to secure the border from one side,” the official said. “The problem is that the Libyans are not securing their side of the border and this requires us to double our efforts in order to secure this vast space. This is taking a huge amount of work, in terms of the forces that must be deployed as well as the cost.” […]