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2 dead in Israeli strike on Gaza

Jan. 18, 2012 12:31 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 20, 2012 10:07 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces opened fire on the northern Gaza Strip on Wednesday, killing two people and seriously injuring at least two others, witnesses and medics said.

The health ministry in Gaza said Muhammad Shaker Abu Odeh was pronounced dead at the scene. Ahmad Al-Zaaneen, 17, died shortly after the strike in hospital. Two others were seriously injured.

An Israeli military official said the attack near Beit Hanoun targeted a "terrorist squad" planting an explosive device on the border.

Witnesses told Ma'an that planes and tanks fired at least four times toward the city.

Medics said ambulances were not initially able to reach the scene due to the continuous fire and heavy shooting. One of the ambulances sustained damage, according to health officials.

A statement from the Israeli army said it targeted "a terrorist squad that was planting an explosive device near the security fence in the northern Gaza Strip. Hits were confirmed."

The statement continued: "An explosion was identified, originating from the explosive device the terrorists attempted to plant near the security fence with the intention of harming IDF soldiers."
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