Rockets hit Israel, Jordan resorts; one dead
Aqaba, August 2, 2010
Rockets from Egypt's Sinai, an area where Islamist militants have operated in the past, struck Israel's and Jordan's Red Sea port resorts on Monday, killing a Jordanian civilian and injuring three others, Jordanian and Israeli police said.
A Jordanian interior ministry source said one of the four injured when one rocket exploded near a five-star hotel in Aqaba, died from his injuries.
There was no word of casualties in the adjacent Israeli port and holiday resort of Eilat, police said.
Asked where the Aqaba rocket was fired, the Jordanian source said without elaborating: "It came from the west." Experts were investigating the site to find out where the short-range rocket had been launched, he said.
Egyptian security sources were quoted by the state news agency as saying rockets could not have been fired from Sinai.
Jordanian resident Ibrahim Salymehin said he heard one loud blast and when he arrived at the scene in Aqaba he saw at least three injured men taken to a nearby hospital by ambulance.
A crowd gathered near the scene of the explosion several hundred metres away from a five star hotel close to the beach. "We saw the wreckage of a taxi which was burnt and fragmented metal scattered around the area that was cordoned off by police," Aqaba resident Abdullah Yashin Rawashdehd told Reuters.
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 hit Aqaba, he said.
"It's a little early to say, but it is reasonable to assume that it came from the southern area," he said, referring to neighbouring Egypt, whose Sinai desert has seen occasional violence attributed to Islamist militants.
No group claimed responsibility for the attack.
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 said Sinai was a possible launch point. - Reuters