Israel's Iron Dome shoots down rocket fired at Eilat

JERUSALEM Fri Jan 31, 2014 3:55pm EST

An Israeli soldier walks near the launcher of an Iron Dome missile interceptor battery deployed in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon January 16, 2014. REUTERS/Amir Cohen

An Israeli soldier walks near the launcher of an Iron Dome missile interceptor battery deployed in the southern Israeli coastal city of Ashkelon January 16, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Amir Cohen

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israel's Iron Dome missile defense system on Friday shot down a rocket fired at the Red Sea resort city of Eilat, an occasional target of militants in Egypt's lawless Sinai peninsula.

"The Iron Dome system intercepted a rocket fired at Eilat," an Israeli military spokeswoman said. "It was probably launched from Sinai."

Earlier this month an al Qaeda-inspired group in Egypt claimed responsibility for a similar rocket attack on Eilat and, saying it was undeterred by Egyptian security sweeps, threatened to continue to target Israel.

Israel has occasionally come under rocket fire from the Sinai peninsula, although a new fortified fence along the frontier and periodic Egyptian security crackdowns have kept the militants largely in check.

(Reporting by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Mark Heinrich)

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