At least eight Egyptian soldiers are missing after militants in a fishing boat opened fire on an Egyptian naval launch in Egypt’s Damietta, 50 kilometres west of the Suez Canal.
In a statement, the Military said that a search is on-going for the eight missing Egyptian naval officers and that 32 ‘terrorists’ had been arrested during the attack.
The statement added that four boats used by the militants, reported to be small boats, were also destroyed in the attack.
Meanwhile, five naval officers injured during the attack have been transported to military hospitals for urgent treatment.
Some media outlets in Egypt have reported that the eight missing sailors are presumed dead, but that a search will continue.
This is the first time that Egypt’s navy has been attacked since attacks on security forces spiked following the ouster of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.
Last month, multiple attacks on Egypt’s military in the North Sinai killed at least 40 soldiers in a span of five days. The attacks prompted the President to declare a three-month state of emergency in the North Sinai and resulted in the evacuation of houses near Egypt’s border with Gaza.