After an exchange of gunfire, the army said the coast guard ship caught on fire.

However, photos posted by ISIS on Twitter appear to show the frigate being hit by a rocket. In the pictures, the blast sends a fireball into the sky.

In a Facebook post, Egypt’s military spokesman Brig. The level of organization of that attack led some analysts to speculate that Sinai Province has received training and support from its Syrian counterpart, the Islamic State.

Previously an independent group, previous year they pledged their allegiance to Isis, and have carried out a number of attacks against Egyptian military targets since. The canal is operated under tight security, but at least one jihadist cell attacked a commercial ship there in 2013. The military disputed this version of events, and Samir said it had received intelligence on the attack and prepared to thwart it, firing on the auto and blowing it up without taking any casualties themselves. The boat was engaging militants on shore loyal to the Islamic State at a range of over two miles, when they managed to bring up the missile system and end decisively what up to then had been a gun fight. There, the jihadists hold wide swaths of territory, while most of the local affiliate’s attacks are confined to the Sinai Peninsula.

The incident took place in waters off the town of Rafah, in north Sinai, which borders on the Gaza Strip. Not much information has been published about the attack, but there has been a rash of skirmishes in the Sinai Peninsula region which might explain today’s incident.

“The Egyptian military needs to recalibrate”, he added.

The Islamic State affiliate in Egypt claimed responsibility for the attack, saying that a suicide bomber intentionally blew himself up, killing several soldiers.

The law came partly in response to coverage of militant assaults on soldiers in the Sinai on July 1. The move followed a series of high-profile bombings in the city, including a vehicle bomb late last month that killed the nation’s chief prosecutor, Hisham Barakat, in the capital’s Heliopolis district. This claim was denied by the military.

Later on Thursday an explosive device went off in Roxy Square in Egyptian capital Cairo, and a traffic police was seriously wounded.