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2 teens die from injuries after Gaza tunnel collapse

Sept. 20, 2011 2:32 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 21, 2011 8:13 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinian teenagers have died from injuries sustained when a smuggling tunnel under Gaza's border with Egypt collapsed on Monday, medics said.

Ashraf Al-Qarra, 17, died on Monday afternoon and Haytham Abu Radwan, also 17, died on Tuesday morning, the ambulance and emergencies committee in Gaza said in a statement.

The teenagers were injured when a gas canister exploded in the tunnel they were in.

On Sunday, a young Palestinian was killed and another injured when a smuggling tunnel between the city of Rafah in the Gaza Strip and Egypt collapsed. Medics identified the deceased as Jihad Irbati.

Egyptian security officials said in early September that they were cracking down on the network of tunnels used by smugglers from the coastal enclave.

Medics say over 160 Palestinians have died in the network of underground tunnels since Israel imposed a siege on the Gaza Strip in 2006.

Under Israel's crippling blockade, the tunnels have provided a lifeline for residents of the coastal enclave.

Egypt's reopening of the Rafah border eased the impact of the siege for some residents, who were able to leave Gaza freely for the first time in years.

But the terminal is not equipped for the transfer of goods, and smugglers say trade is still booming.
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