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Israel says interceptor launch in Red Sea triggered by false alarm

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - The Israeli military said on Thursday that its sounding of sirens in the southern resort of Eilat and launching of an interceptor missile over the Red Sea were due to a false alarm.

During the more than three-month Gaza war, Eilat has been the target of long-range missile and drone launches by Yemen's Houthis who, like the Palestinian militant group Hamas, are Iranian-aligned.

After sirens sounded in Eilat, witnesses reported hearing an explosion and local TV carried images of smoke over the Gulf of Aqaba. The military said it had launched an interceptor missile at an incoming threat, without specifying if it was shot down.

In a follow-up statement, the military said the incident was due to a misidentification, by its sensors, of the interceptor launch as an incoming threat - which set off the sirens.

The military did not immediately explain why the interceptor was launched. Medics said no one was hurt in the incident.

(Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Kate Holton and Alison Williams)