Egyptian military junta officials are finally detailing an incident from mid-November in which a naval missile ship was seized by Sinai militant faction Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, leading to a confrontation at sea as the group tried to sail north to confront Israeli targets.
The reports are that the militants “staged an accident” on board the ship, and were able to get an infiltrator on their side temporarily placed in charge of the ship, at which point they sailed away from the port and toward key Israeli offshore gas installations.
Egyptian warships and planes were sent after the boat, which managed to get about 70 km offshore before a battle in which the boat was set afire, but eventually retaken.
All told, officials said eight people were killed in the incident, though the split between militants and troops was not disclosed. The report aimed to link the incident to ISIS, on the basis of Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis pledging allegiance to ISIS.
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