Egypt launches security sweep after Red Sea attack, says official

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CAIRO: Egypt has launched a wide security sweep of Sinai after rockets said to be fired from the peninsula landed in Israel and Jordan killing one person, an Egyptian security official said on Tuesday.

A senior Jordanian official said earlier that his country had proof the deadly rocket that landed in the port town of Aqaba had been fired from Sinai.

"Following the Jordanian comments, Egypt has launched a wide security sweep of the Sinai peninsula," the Egyptian official said on condition of anonymity because he is not authorised to speak to the media.

But he insisted "there are no organized groups operating in Sinai and security on the peninsula is extremely tight. Any suspicious activity would have been detected," he said.

At least five blasts were heard on Monday, with one rocket exploding in open ground outside the Israeli resort of Eilat, two crashing into the Red Sea and the rest hitting Jordan.

The Jordaninan official close to Amman’s investigation of the attack said on Tuesday that it was the second such incident in three months.

"We can now say without hesitation that the Grad rocket was launched from Sinai," he said.

There has been no official reaction by Egypt to the rocket attacks.

On Monday, an Egyptian security official again speaking on condition of anonymity denied the attacks were launched from Sinai, a mountainous desert region that flanks the Gulf of Aqaba.

"The rockets did not come from Sinai," which would need "a great deal of logistics and equipment, and that is impossible considering the heavy security presence in the Sinai Peninsula," the official told AFP.


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