Egyptian navy ship hit by missile fire near Suez Canal
An Egyptian naval vessel has been hit by missile fire from ISIS-affiliated militants in Sinai, with the group claiming major casualties and the total loss of the ship.
The Egyptian navy has confirmed that a naval vessel was hit by a missile, but denied reports of casualties. Images of the incident show the vessel engulfed in a fireball, however, leading security experts to doubt the official version of the event.
Egyptian officials said a coastguard vessel caught fire after a fire-fight with militants on the shore, but images of the incident online show what looked like a missile followed by a large explosion on the ship.
The incident happened in waters off the north Sinai town of Rafah, which neighbours the Gaza Strip.
The SITE Intelligence Group published pictures from Sinai Province that it says show a guided anti-tank missile moments before it struck the vessel, and then the moment of impact.
This latest incident follows a wave of attacks on the Egyptian military by Sinai Province. Earlier this month, more than 100 people, including at least 17 soldiers, were killed in as ISIS launched an offensive in Sheikh Zuweid and Rafah in Sinai.
Egypt has vowed to rid its Sinai Peninsula of the militants, and has had a state of emergency and a curfew in place since last October.
This latest attacks comes just weeks after security experts warned that shipping on the Suez Canal are potentially vulnerable to attacks by ISIS, which has vowed to target the strategic waterway following the opening of its new expansion.