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Egypt: "flying object" shot down off Sinai

Egypt: "flying object" shot down off Sinai
Mikoyan MiG 29 fighter jets of the Egyptian Air Force taking off from an air base.   -  
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A "flying object" was shot down off the coast of the Egyptian Sinai bordering Israel, an Egyptian media outlet close to the intelligence services and witnesses reported on Tuesday.

"A flying object was shot down two kilometres off the coast of Dahab", a seaside town in the Sinai located 150 kilometres south of the border with Israel, the Al-Qahera News television channel reported.

"We heard the thud of an explosion coming from the sea and then we saw a strange object fall into the sea", one of the witnesses told AFP.

The Sinai desert peninsula is bordered to the northeast by the Gaza Strip and shares its eastern border with Israel.

Egypt, the historic mediator between Palestinians and Israelis and holder of the only gateway to the world from Gaza that is not in Israeli hands, has been on the front line since the bloody Hamas attack on Israeli territory on 7 October and the devastating Israeli retaliatory bombardments in Gaza.

In mid-December, a drone of "unknown origin" was shot down by the Egyptian Air Force off the coast of Dahab, according to a security source.

At the end of October, six people were injured in Egypt after two drones were shot down in the Sinai.

Egypt said at the time that the drones originated in the "southern Red Sea".

In recent weeks, Yemeni Houthi rebels have stepped up their attacks near the strategic Bab el-Mandeb strait, which separates the Arabian Peninsula from Africa. The Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels have warned that they will target ships sailing in the Red Sea off the coast of Yemen with links to Israel, in solidarity with Gaza. 

Several missiles and drones have been shot down by American, French and British warships patrolling the area.

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