IS affiliate in Sinai threatens Eilat with rockets

Militant group warns on its Facebook page that it will launch barrage against Israeli border town in coming days

A panoramic view of the southern Israeli city of Eilat. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)
A panoramic view of the southern Israeli city of Eilat. (photo credit: Moshe Shai/Flash90)

The Sinai-based affiliates of Islamic State have warned they will launch a missile barrage against the Israeli border town of Eilat in the coming days.

The terror group made the threat in a post to its Facebook page on Thursday.

The group formerly known as Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group late last year, changing its name to Wilayat Sina (Province of Sinai).

The organization has fired a small number of rockets at Eilat on past occasions, though these did not cause any injuries or significant damage.

It has carried out repeated deadly attacks on Egyptian security forces in the Sinai Peninsula. In April multiple shooting and bombing attacks killed around 30 civilians and security personnel. At least four policemen have been killed in attacks in May.

The group says its attacks are in retaliation for a deadly crackdown by the security forces on Islamists since then army chief and now President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi ousted his Islamist predecessor Mohammed Morsi in 2013.

The authorities say more than 500 troops and police have been killed since Morsi’s overthrow, most of them in North Sinai province.

The attacks have come despite stringent security measures imposed by the army in the province, including a night-time curfew and the creation of a buffer zone along the Gaza border to prevent militants infiltrating from the Palestinian territory.

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