Rockets hit Israel and Jordan ports; 4 hurt in Aqaba

A suspected short-range rocket salvo from Egyptian Sinai struck the ports.

Jerusalem: A suspected short-range rocket salvo from the Egyptian Sinai, an area where Islamist militants have operated in the past, struck Israel`s and Jordan`s Red Sea ports on Monday, Israeli police said.

A Jordanian Interior Ministry source said four civilians were injured, one seriously, when a rocket hit an hotel area in its port of Aqaba.

There was no word of casualties in the Israeli port of Eilat, police said, but a source at Jordan`s Interior Ministry said four civilians had been injured in its city of Aqaba.

Eilat District Police Commander Moshe Cohen told Israel Radio that his forces were still trying to confirm that five explosions heard in the morning had been caused by shelling.

Two of the suspected rockets or mortar bombs appeared to have landed in the sea, while another struck Aqaba, he said.

Asked where the salvo was launched, Cohen said: "It`s a little early to say, but it is reasonable to assume that it came from the southern area."

He was referring to neighbouring Egypt, whose Sinai desert has seen occasional violence attributed to Islamist militants.

At least one rocket struck Aqaba on April 22, causing no casualties. Amman said the rocket had been fired from outside Jordan and Israeli media spoke of the Sinai as a possible launch point.

In 2005, rockets were fired at US warships in Aqaba`s port but missed their target and killed a Jordanian soldier on land. A group claiming links to al Qaeda said it was behind the attack.

Two years later, a Palestinian suicide bomber infiltrated through the Sinai and killed three people at an Eilat bakery.

Jordan and Egypt are the only Arab states to have full peace accords with Israel. Those ties were frayed by Israel`s crackdown in 2000 on a Palestinian uprising in the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Bureau Report

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