Israel air strike kills radical Gaza gunman

Reuters News
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Posted: Aug 05, 2012 7:42 AM
Israel air strike kills radical Gaza gunman

GAZA (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike killed a Palestinian gunman from a radical Islamist group and wounded another on Sunday as they rode a motorbike in southern Gaza, near the Egyptian border, hospital officials said.

They identified the dead man as a former member of the Popular Resistance Committees militant group who had shifted allegiance to "Magles Shoura al-Mujahddin", among Salafi factions that are a fringe presence in Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip.

A group by the same name took responsibility for a guerrilla raid from the Egyptian Sinai into Israel in June which killed an Israeli who was helping erect a border fence. According to a claim issued last month, the two raiders, who were both killed by Israeli forces, were an Egyptian and a Saudi.

In Jerusalem, an Israeli military spokesman confirmed an air strike had taken place in southern Gaza but did not elaborate.

Israel has previously accused Palestinian militants in Gaza of involvement in militant activity in Sinai, where insecurity has spread since the U.S.-aligned Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, fell to a citizen revolt last year.

Gaza's is governed by Hamas, a Palestinian Islamist movement which, while also hostile to the Jewish state, is considered too moderate by many Salafis and has at times clashed with them during law-and-order drive.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Jon Hemming)