egypt missile ship hijackes Isis
An Egyptian missile tank was allegedly hijacked by terrorists linked to Isis Getty Images

Militants believed to be linked with terror group Islamic State (Isis) have allegedly hijacked an Egyptian missile ship near the northern end of the Suez Canal.

It is believed that the hijacking occurred early in November but news of the incident was only reported on Monday (1 December) night by an Israeli news channel, which claimed the militants took control of the ship to attack Israeli vessels in the Mediterranean Sea.

"The craft was to be used to attack Israeli vessels and offshore gas drilling rigs, located further up the coast," Israel's Channel 2 reported.

In what was defined as the "first-ever such attack against Egyptian forces", the military ship, with some 200 Egyptian soldiers on board, was attacked by four smaller boats while it was conducting a combat exercise.

"The Egyptian fleet understood that something was amiss when the missile boat did not respond to requests to identify itself," the TV channel continued.

Once the Egyptian forces realised the ship had been hijacked, several other vessels reportedly chased the abducted missile boat and, after an exchange of fire, the ship was hit and neutralised and 32 militants were arrested. Another report alleged four insurgents were also killed.

Egyptian military said the attack left five people injured and another eight missing at sea.

Egypt's official news agency, MENA, reported that during the fire exchange with the terrorists, the ship was set on fire.

The hijacking came as Egypt's terror group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, previously affiliated with al-Qaeda, pledged allegiance to IS.