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Jihadists claim rocket attack on Israel

13 august 2013, 10:31
0
©REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
©REUTERS/Mohammed Salem
A group of jihadist fighters said Tuesday they had fired a Grad rocket on the Israeli Red Sea town of Eilat in retaliation for an alleged Israeli air raid, AFP reports.

The Mujahideen Shura Council said in a statement published on a jihadist forum its fighters fired the rocket at 1:00 am (2300 GMT Monday).

The statement did not say whether the rocket attack caused any damage or injuries.

The rocket, fired from the Sinai, was "a quick response to the last crime by the Jews after one of their drones bombed the Sinai peninsula killing four mujahideen" on Friday.

Another jihadist group, Egypt's Ansar Beit al-Maqdis which has claimed allegiance to Al-Qaeda and repeated attacks on Israeli targets, has blamed the Jewish state for the Friday strike.

The group accused the Egyptian army of coordinating the attack with Israel, and threatened more strikes against the Jewish state.

"How can the Egyptian army allow the Zionist unmanned planes to cross into Egyptian territory," the statement asked.

Egypt's military has denied the claim.

"There is no truth whatsoever to any Israeli strikes inside Egyptian territory and the claim that there is Egyptian and Israeli coordination on the matter is utterly baseless," military spokesman Colonel Ahmed Aly said in a statement on Friday.

Officials told AFP the strike came from the Egyptian military, as part of their campaign to curtail a surge in violence and rein in militant activity in the lawless Sinai.

The state owned Al-Ahram newspaper and the official news agency MENA reported on Saturday that Egyptian military aircraft conducted the strike, quoting anonymous security officials.

Witnesses said Egyptian military helicopters hovered above the site after the blasts.

Militants based mainly in north Sinai near Israel's border have escalated attacks on security forces and other targets since July 3, when the army ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and installed a new government in Cairo.

But the army has been reluctant to confront the militants inside towns in order not to provoke the tight-knit tribes, military sources say.

The army said it had killed nearly 70 "terrorists" since Morsi's ouster.

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