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3 girls drown near border in Gaza

June 7, 2014 3:36 P.M. (Updated: June 8, 2014 10:31 P.M.)
GAZA STRIP (Ma'an) -- Three girls drowned in the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday in an area where civil defense forces are barred from working due to Israeli restrictions, officials said.

Gaza health ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra identified the victims as 13-year-old Riham Jumaa Rmeilat, 20-year-old Sabah Saber Rmeilat, and Jihad Jumaa Rmeilat.

Two of the girls were taken to Kamal Udwan hospital and one of them to al-Shifa hospital, where they were pronounced dead.

Muhammad al-Maydana, spokesman for Gaza's civil defense forces, said the incident occurred in al-Sudaniya area.

The girls drowned in an area where Palestinian civil defense forces are barred from working due to its proximity to the border with Israel, al-Maydana said.

Al-Maydana warned residents not to swim in areas near the border.

In May alone, Israeli forces shot and injured two fishermen in the al-Sudaniya area. The area is situated near the 17 percent of the Gaza Strip Israel has deemed part of its its "security buffer zone."
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