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Egypt building security towers along Gaza border.

Egyptian security officials on Saturday (Christmas day) said that the government is building several 100-foot (30-meter) observation towers to improve security along the border with the Gaza Strip, stopping infiltration and sniper attacks.

The officials said Saturday the first of the steel and concrete towers near the Rafah border crossing is almost completed.

The officials were speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

They said the towers aim to improve monitoring of movements along the border. A Gaza sniper killed an Egyptian security guard in January.

Egypt is uneasy about its 8-mile (14-kilometre) border with Gaza. It has installed an underground steel wall to combat smuggling tunnels, but infiltrators often cross. 

A WikiLeaks US Embassy cable has revealed this month that Egypt’s underground steel wall on the Egyptian-Gaza border is valued at US$40 million and is due to be completed in December 2010. The cable revealed that there is also a tunnel detection system being funded and installed by the US.