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Published: Saturday February 1, 2014 MYT 6:55:04 PM
Updated: Saturday February 1, 2014 MYT 6:56:00 PM

Sinai-based militants claim rocket attack on Israel

CAIRO (Reuters) - A Sinai-based militant group inspired by al Qaeda, Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, claimed responsibility on Saturday for a failed rocket attack on Israel's Red Sea resort city Eilat a day earlier.

Israel's Iron Dome missile defence system on Friday shot down a rocket fired in the direction of Eilat, an occasional target of militants in Egypt's lawless Sinai peninsula.

"Jews, know that nothing will stop us fighting you," Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis said in a statement published on the Internet.

Israel has occasionally come under rocket fire from Sinai, although a new fortified fence along the frontier and periodic Egyptian security crackdowns have kept the militants largely in check.

Militant groups based in Sinai have also stepped up attacks on Egyptian security forces since the army toppled Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in July following mass protests against his rule.

Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, or "Supporters of Jerusalem", have claimed several high-profile bombings in Egypt, including attacks on security buildings in Cairo and the Nile Delta as well as a failed attempt to kill a minister.

(Reporting by Shadia Nasralla; Editing by Alison Williams)

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