‘Terror’ attack on Egypt naval vessel leaves 8 missing

Gunmen on finishing boats reportedly opened fire on an Egyptian navy vessel

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The Egyptian military said one of its navy vessels came under "terrorist" attack in the Mediterranean on Wednesday, leaving five servicemen injured and eight others missing at sea, Agence France-Presse reported.

The "terrorist" attack took place on Wednesday morning off the coast of the Damietta province in the country’s north east, the military said in a statement.

The military said it destroyed "four boats used by the armed assailants, including terrorists, and arrested 32 people".

It said the air force was called in to deal with the assailants.

Commenting on the attack, Mohamed Samir , the official Spokesman for the Egyptian Military, told Egypt’s daily Youm Sabah : “In addition to what has been posted regarding the terror attack … the five servicemen who were injured during the attack have been transported to military hospitals for the necessary care.”

Samir also said that Egyptian authorities are investigating the scene and that the men captured were being interrogated.
It was not immediately clear what the naval boat was doing so far offshore, and whether it was on a routine patrol anticipated by militants.

A military source told AFP the assailants used "fishing boats" and did not appear to have deployed rocket propelled grenades or heavier weapons.

The Mediterranean Sea is used by drug traffickers and illegal migrant smugglers who have been intercepted by the Egyptian navy in the past.

There have been no recorded attacks at sea by the Sinai-based militants who launched an insurgency after the army overthrew Islamist President Mohammad Mursi last year.

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