ISIS says it destroyed Egyptian ship with rocket

The Islamic State's affiliate in Egypt's Sinai says it has destroyed an Egyptian navy vessel with a rocket off the strategic peninsula's Mediterranean coast.

The claim of responsibility by the Sinai Province of the Islamic State, as the group calls itself, was made in a brief statement posted on Twitter accounts known to be linked to the group.

Egyptian navy vessel hoses down another which caught on fire at Mediterranean Sea Thursday, July 16, 2015. An Egyptian navy vessel caught fire off the coast of Sinai on Thursday after an exchange of gunshots with militants from the shore, the military said. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba)

Egyptian navy vessel hoses down another which caught on fire at Mediterranean Sea Thursday, July 16, 2015. An Egyptian navy vessel caught fire off the coast of Sinai on Thursday after an exchange of gunshots with militants from the shore, the military said. (AP Photo/Eyad Baba) (AP)

The authenticity of the statement could not be immediately verified, but it was accompanied by photos purporting to show what appears to be a rocket flying toward the vessel, a large explosion engulfing most of the boat and then black smoke rising up from the vessel.

Egypt's military spokesman, Brig. Gen. Mohammed Samir, said in a statement earlier that the vessel caught fire in an exchange of gunshots on Thursday with "terrorists" on the shore.