An Egyptian navy ship in the Mediterranean Sea was allegedly targeted and hit by an Islamic State-affiliated missile attack.
The group, which claims its has bases in the Sinai Peninsula, said in a statement that it struck the patrol ship that was near Rafah near the Gaza border with a “guided missile,”. The Islamic State group’s media office in “Sinai State” said the Egyptian navy frigate was completely destroyed and its crew were killed.
The ship has been used to transport army personnel to mainland in Egypt to avoid travelling by land through Sinai, where militants frequently attack carriers.
On Wednesday, the military said it foiled an attempted attack on a military post on a highway linking Cairo with the Red Sea coast.
“We were sitting on the beach and suddenly there was an explosion”, said Ahmed Nofal, who witnessed the incident, according to Russian Federation Today. The authenticity of the claim could not be independently verified, though it was carried by Twitter accounts affiliated with the group. The State of Sinai, formerly known as Ansar Bait El-Maqdis, released photos of what appeared to be a flying object heading toward and then striking the ship. Gen. Osama Beder – less than a year after he took the job.
Beder will be replaced by Maj. No Italians were hurt in the attack. It is estimated that about 100 militants were killed during the fighting.
Officials from several branches of Egypt’s security forces previously told The Associated Press that that attack killed dozens of government troops.
Later in the day a small bomb exploded in a residential area of the upscale Cairo neighbourhood of Heliopolis, wounding a police officer, security sources said.