Militants killed in Egypt by Israeli drone mourned

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CAIRO — Dozens of suspected militants openly joined a mass funeral procession Saturday for four slain Egyptian insurgents killed in an Israeli drone strike in the Sinai Peninsula, as Egyptian security forces watched them pass by.

A little known militant group, Ansar Jerusalem, said its men were the target of the drone strike in Egyptian territory that killed the four militants preparing to fire rockets into Israel.

Meanwhile, Egypt’s military claimed that one of its helicopters carried out the strike, seeking to limit public criticism about allowing Israel to carry out strikes on its soil.

The attack by the Israeli drone was a rare operation that could indicate increased cooperation between Egypt and Israel against militants in northern Sinai after a coup ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi last month.

It also is likely to increase tensions in a border region that has seen other rocket attacks in the past.

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