ISIS affiliated terrorists in Egypt have struck a naval patrol ship in the Mediterranean Sea, causing it to erupt into a huge fireball.
The Egyptian military said that one of their coastguard vessels had exchanged fire with militants two miles off the coast of northern Sinai, which borders Israel and the Gaza Strip.
There were no casualties on the vessel in the shootout with the jihadists, according to a message posted by an Egyptian military spokesman, Brigadier General Mohammed Samir, on Facebook. (Scroll down for the video.)
1. Extremists loyal to the Islamic State in Egypt have attacked a naval patrol ship in the Mediterranean Sea, causing it to burst into flames.
2. Eyewitnesses said a boat patrolling the Sinai coastline spotted a group of ISIS jihadis on the shore and engaged them. A rocket fired from the shore (circled) struck the vessel moments later.
3. A witness, fisherman Abu Ibrahim Mohammed from the neighboring Gaza Strip, said the vessel was a gunboat that was about a nautical mile off the coast when it was struck by the rocket.
ISIS had declared their presence on the Sinai peninsula last November, after 2,000 members of the already established jihadi group Ansar Bait al-Maqdis swore allegiance to the terrorist group’s leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
A witness, fisherman Abu Ibrahim Mohammed from the neighboring Gaza Strip, said that the navy vessel was a gunboat which was about a nautical mile off the coast when it caught fire.
The witness did not hear the explosion, however he did see two smaller boats later putting out the fire that had erupted, while a third and larger one later arrived to tow the burned vessel away.
Two speed boats later arrived to search the area, as gunshots were occasionally exchanged, Mohammed added.
4. The Egyptian military said earlier that a coastguard vessel had exchanged shots with militants just two miles off the coast of northern Sinai, an area bordering Israel and the Gaza Strip.
5. The military said it suffered no casualties although it is understood that several patrol workers suffered minor burn injuries.
Security officials said that the vessel which was hit routinely patrols the Egyptian territorial waters and has often been used to transport army and police personnel to mainland Egypt.
The sea route avoids the dangers of an overland journey through the Sinai, where ISIS militants target government forces.
Egypt is facing threats from multiple militant factions, including the ISIS affiliate in the Sinai, which the country’s military says has killed at least 17 soldiers in an attack on July 1.
The terrorists have also carried out attacks west of the Suez Canal, which separates the Sinai peninsula from the rest of Egypt.
6. ISIS destroyed an Egyptian naval vessel near Rafah — the vessel as it looks from Gaza — a Haaretz report.
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