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Islamic State claims five members killed in Israeli drone strike

Terror group says cell targeted Saturday in Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula; no immediate comment from IDF

Illustrative. Smoke rises after a house was blown up in a military operation in Egypt's Sinai peninsula on November 20, 2014. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)
Illustrative. Smoke rises after a house was blown up in a military operation in Egypt's Sinai peninsula on November 20, 2014. (Abed Rahim Khatib/Flash90)

The Islamic State’s official media outlet claimed Sunday five of its members were killed in an Israeli military airstrike in Egypt’s Sinai peninsula the day before.

According to Amaq news agency, an official media arm of the terror group, an Israeli drone strike struck a car with five Islamic State members in a village in the northern Sinai near the Egypt-Israel border on Saturday.

The strike occurred near the village of Shabana, south of the town of Rafah, Amaq said.

The Israel Defense Forces did not immediately respond to The Times of Israel’s request for comment, but generally refrains from confirming or denying strikes outside of Israel.

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The reported attack came after tensions between Israel and the Islamic State’s affiliate in Sinai ratcheted up earlier this month.

On February 8, the group, known as the Sinai Province, shot four rockets at the southern Israeli city of Eilat.

Three of the four rockets were intercepted by the Iron Dome missile system, the army said.

A military spokesperson said the fourth rocket was not shot down by the missile defense battery as it was headed toward an open field.

Sinai Province claimed the rocket attack on Eilat early the next day.

February 9 also saw two Palestinians killed in a mysterious explosion in Rafah, which the Hamas terror group claimed was the result of an Israeli airstrike carried out in retaliation for the rockets.

Israel denied it had carried out any airstrikes in the area.

The Islamic State in Sinai has been waging a bloody battle against Egyptian forces in recent years.

Last month, Israel ordered all of its citizens in the Sinai Peninsula to leave immediately due to security threats.

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