ISIS’s Sinai Peninsula affiliate, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, has claimed credit for an incident in which an Egyptian gunboat was attacked off the coast of the peninsula after coming under fire from militants on shore.
The official statement from Egypt’s military junta was that the ship caught fire after an exchange of gunfire and a rocket attack, though they were unwilling to acknowledge that the ISIS fire had necessarily caused the fire. Witnesses reported an explosion aboard the ship and that the crew fled into the water.
According to officials, the gunboat has been used to transport officials from the coastal cities to mainland Egypt, avoiding the journey through the war-torn peninsula. This is the first time an Egyptian ship has come under rocket fire from the militants.
The ship was ablaze, and a pair of smaller boats arrived to try to put out the fire. Later, a third ship towed the wrecked gunboat back to port. Exactly how much damage was done is unclear, and there hasn’t been any confirmation of casualties.