CAIRO, March 10 (Xinhua) -- A group of militants launched a missile from Nekhel city in Egypt's Sinai in the direction of Suez governorate early Sunday, and the missile exploded 45 km from Nekhel, a senior security official in Sinai told Xinhua.
"The militants in Sinai launched an Israeli-made surface-to- surface missile, (which) exploded in Bear 5 zone of Nekhel city," the security source said, adding that the explosion caused a 2- meter-deep, 1.5-meter-wide hole.
The militants launched the missile for experiment and training purposes, the source said, adding that since several months ago armed groups in Sinai have been gathering missiles buried after previous wars and planned to use them in the near future against internal or external sites.
Egyptian Interior Ministry raised security alert level in Sinai on Saturday, as intelligence suggested potential attacks against police premises by Jihadist armed groups.
Assistant Interior Minister for Sinai Osama Ismail noted that security services in South Sinai and North Sinai governorates were working normally Saturday, except for 15 groups of the central security forces in North Sinai's capital city Arish, who went on a strike early Saturday. A number of policemen and army soldiers have been assigned to cover for those on strike.
Over the past two years, Egyptian authorities have confiscated large amounts of smuggled weapons and explosives in the Sinai Peninsula. Due to the lack of tight security, there has been a rise of smugglers and extreme Islamists who launched attacks against police or military checkpoints and premises in the peninsula.
In August 2012, at least 13 Egyptian border guards in Sinai were killed in an armed attack on a checkpoint near the country's borders with Israel.