Egypt Deploys Troops, Tanks in Sinai Offensive Army shuts down smugglers' tunnels to Gaza By Matt Cantor, Newser User Posted Aug 9, 2012 9:21 AM CDT 4 comments Comments Officials attend the funeral of 16 soldiers killed in an attack over the weekend by suspected militants in Sinai in Cairo, Egypt , Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012. (AP Photo/Thomas Hartwell) (Newser) – Egypt's offensive in Sinai is growing. Yesterday saw missiles fired following a series of attacks on government forces; today, officials are sending troops and armored vehicles, including tanks, to the peninsula. Meanwhile, the military is closing off illegal tunnels across the border into Gaza; the 1,200 passageways, typically used by smugglers, are thought to have provided an escape for the militants who attacked soldiers on Sunday, the BBC reports. Local television earlier reported new fighting in Sinai, but a security insider later clarified the incident, saying a man driving an unlicensed car had been firing into the air.