EL-ARISH - An Egyptian official had said gunmen opened fire on the peacekeeping troops in the Um Shyhan area of central Sinai, but an official for the Sinai international peacekeeping force denied that its own troops had come under fire.
"We were not fired upon," said Kathleen Riley, Cairo representative of the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) which has monitored movements of troops and military equipment along Egypt's border with Israel since their 1979 peace treaty.
"There was some firing on an Egyptian army checkpoint or police checkpoint not too far away. We were able to hear the shots but we had absolutely no attacks upon our staff."
The incident follows the start of an Egyptian operation targeting Islamist militants in Sinai suspected of killing 16 border guards a week ago.