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Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Jordan says rocket from Sinai; Egypt denies

From AFP:
Jordan has proof a Grad-type rocket that hit its port city of Aqaba killing one person and wounding five others was fired from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, a senior official told AFP on Tuesday.

"We can now say without hesitation that the Grad rocket was launched from Sinai," said the official close to the investigation who was speaking on condition of anonymity 24 hours after the rocket slammed into Aqaba.

"We have strong suspicions about the identity of the group behind this attack," he added, declining to name the group for now.
Egypt denies it:
A senior Egyptian official on Tuesday rejected allegations that the rockets that struck the Jordanian port of Aqaba and the vicinity of the neighbouring Israeli city of Eilat the previous day were fired from the Sinai Peninsula.
South Sinai governor Mohamed Abdel-Fadil Shousha told the German Press Agency dpa: 'Let the media say whatever they want. The border between Egypt, Israel and Jordan is a region of mountains and it does not make sense to launch the type of missiles they are talking about.'
But, just to make sure, Egypt decided to look anyway:
Egypt has launched a search operation in the Sinai Peninsul after the firing of rockets that have reached the territories of Israel and Jordan on Monday, an Egyptian security official said Tuesday. The source claimed the move was in response to Jordanian declarations of holding proof the rocket fire was performed from the Sinai Peninsula.
Arab media quotes Israeli reports that a sixth missile was found in the Sinai, aimed towards Eilat, which would indicate that the rockets were indeed shot from Egypt.

The group suspected of firing the rocket is called Global Jihad. Haaretz' Avi Issacharoff thinks that Aqaba could have been an intended target as well, as the jihadists hate Jordan almost as much as they hate Israel. He says that Global Jihad often trains in Gaza but operates in the Sinai, indicating a relationship with Hamas.