IS claims responsibility for rockets fired into Israel

Cheryl Sanders
October 16, 2017

Services at the church were suspended months ago, following a wave of attacks on Christians in Sinai.

The attacks left three civilians, including a child, three guards and one soldier dead and wounded another 15 people, including women and children, the officials said.

"The militants fired shots randomly in the street as if they were celebrating with some of them raising their black flags (of Islamic State) and they roamed the streets for about 20 minutes then disappeared", said Alaa Lotfy, a shop owner in the area who witnessed the clashes. Apache helicopter gunships were called in to repel the attackers, said the officials.

On Friday, the militant group claimed an attack on security forces in the peninsula that killed at least six soldiers.

Security forces cordoned off the city center and evacuated residents living in the bank building.

IS-affiliated jihadists in the Sinai have been fighting an intense insurgency against Egyptian forces, with hundreds of troops and policemen killed since the army ousted Egypt's elected Islamist president Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

There has been no claim of responsibility.

Sunday's attacks on military checkpoints prompted Egyptian authorities to postpone the opening of the Rafah crossing with Gaza, which had been due to open for four days.

The militants used vehicle bombs, rocket propelled grenades, and light weapons.

It is not known if the rockets fell in Israeli territory.

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