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The U.S. State Department yesterday issued a travel warning to American citizens traveling to the port of Aqaba, citing an "imminent" threat.

The warning said "credible information has been received regarding a possible imminent threat in the Gulf of Aqaba region."

Diplomats say the latest travel advisory was prompted by heightened security concerns after rockets fired by Islamic militants from Sinai, hit Eilat and Aqaba on August 2, killing a Jordanian civilian and injuring three others.

The U.S. travel warning came hours before the Israel Air Force carried out a raid in the Gaza Strip in retaliation for mortar attacks from the Strip.

"The U.S. Embassy recommends that all non-official and personal travel to Aqaba be deferred for at least the next 48 hours," the statement said without elaborating further.

Security analysts here say the spate of rocket attacks is linked to efforts by Hamas to undermine the direct peace talks between the Palestinian Authority and Israel.