The bloodshed involves at least two separate attacks, the details of which remain shrouded in secrecy. On Friday, a missile, apparently fired from an Israeli drone, slammed into Ajraa in the northern Sinai, near the border with the Gaza Strip. News reports claim the explosion destroyed a rocket launcher aimed at Israel, killing four or five Islamic militants.
On Saturday night, Egyptian army Apache helicopters, supplied by the United States, targeted supposed "terrorist sites" in the town of Al-Thoma, south of Sheikh Zuweid. Several four-wheel-drive vehicles were destroyed and at least 15 people killed. An Egyptian military spokesman later gave the toll as 25 killed or wounded.
Israeli officials, in keeping with their standard practice in regard to cross-border attacks against Arab neighbors, would not even confirm that the Israel Defense Forces had fired missiles into Sinai Friday, although the attack was widely reported in the international media and the death toll was confirmed by a spokesman for an armed Islamic group, Ansar Beit al-Maqdis.