World Bulletin/News Desk
Thousands of mourners attended Saturday a funeral procession for four suspected fighters killed one day earlier in an attack said to have targeted a rocket launcher in the North Sinai city of Rafah.
Eyewitnesses said that nearly 3,000 people boarding around 400 cars partook in the funeral. The convoy passed by several villages before reaching their destination in Sheikh Zuweid cemetery, where the four were buried.
Most of those who attended the funeral were affiliated with groups, according to the eyewitnesses, who noted the appearance of the black flags during the march.
The convoy passed by several military checkpoints without problems, the witnesses said. The mourners chanted slogans against Israel, whom they accused of being behind the strike – a claim dismissed by an Egyptian military spokesman.
“Reports about Israeli attacks into Egyptian lands are groundless and totally bare of truth,” spokesman Col. Ahmed Mohamed Ali said via Facebook on Friday.
An initial toll put the number of fatalities at five.
According to an Egyptian security source, a military helicopter struck the rocket launcher in Al-Arjaa district in southern Rafah after spotting gunmen moving toward it.
But sources close to groups in Sinai said that an Israeli plane was behind the attack.
The sources added that the attack struck shortly as fighters were planning to fire missiles at Israeli targets.
The Israeli daily Haaretz said that an Israeli drone fired a missile into North Sinai, killing the fighters and destroyed a rocket launcher.
But the Egyptian army spokesman denied the allegation and dismissed alleged coordination between Egypt and Israel about the attack as “baseless, insane and illogical”.
An Israeli army spokesman declined to comment on the report.
Egypt's Sinai Peninsula enjoyed an atypically peace in the past two days, which coincided with Eid al-Fitr, the three-day feast that follows the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan.
The peninsula, situated near Egypt's borders with Israel and the Palestinian Gaza Strip, has seen almost daily attacks by unknown assailants since Morsi's overthrow on July 3 by the military.Last Mod: 10 Ağustos 2013, 14:38