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Sinai jihadists fire missile

March 10, 2013 at 8:22 AM

CAIRO, March 10 (UPI) -- A jihadist group operating in the Sinai Peninsula fired a long-range missile during training Sunday, Egyptian military sources told the Ma'an News Agency.

The rocket was fired from Nekhel in central Sinai and fell in the desert in the Suez district, Egyptian sources told the news agency. The exploding missile, with a range of nearly 28 miles, left a crater nearly 10 feet deep and 6 1/2 feet wide, the sources said.

Unnamed Egyptian military experts said it is possible the missile was an unexploded Israeli ordnance left in the area from wars in the past, the agency said.

Sunday's incident occurred just days after Egypt announced it was boosting its military presence in the area after intelligence was received that terror groups operating in the Sinai were plotting attacks.

The Egyptian army had raised its level of alert in the area and deployed troops on a number of highways in the Sinai and set up checkpoints and intensified patrols along the border with the Gaza Strip and Israel, military sources told al-Masry al-Youm.

The Sinai Peninsula has become a keen operating ground for Islamic militants since the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011, the Egyptian daily said.

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