Egypt evicts residents from its border with the Gaza Strip, blows up buildings to create a buffer zone.
Creating a buffer zone along the Gaza strip. Egypt began clearing residents from its border with the Gaza Strip Wednesday to create a buffer zone following some of the worst violence since President Mohamed Mursi was overthrown last year. Egypt declared a state of emergency in the border area after at least 33 security personnel were killed Friday in two attacks in the Sinai Peninsula, a remote but strategic region bordering Israel, Gaza and the Suez Canal. It also accelerated plans to create a 500-meter deep buffer zone by clearing houses and trees and destroying tunnels it says are used to smuggle arms from Gaza to militants in Sinai. Authorities say those who lost homes will be compensated. Some in Gaza see a plot. (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) RESIDENT OF GAZA, ABDEL KAREEM ABU OUF, SAYING: "A buffer zone is just a plot against the Palestinian people. We are brothers with the Egyptians and we do not interfere with their border." Border residents say about 680 houses are set to be demolished on the Egyptian side of the border. Security forces previously destroyed about 200 houses on the border after discovering entrances to smuggling tunnels leading into the Gaza Strip .