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6 Palestinians wounded as Israeli tanks fire into Gaza after explosion

June 27, 2014 9:16 A.M. (Updated: June 27, 2014 11:53 A.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- Six Palestinians were injured on Friday morning after Israeli tanks fired into the southern Gaza Strip from the border, medical officials said.

Spokesman for the Ministry of Health in Gaza Ashraf al-Qidra told Ma'an that five Palestinians including a pregnant woman and an 11-year-old boy were injured by the artillery fire, and were taken to the Algerian Hospital in Abasan al-Kabeera southeast of Khan Younis.

Al-Qidra added that the sixth victim, a 27-year-old, was taken to the Gaza European Hospital with broken fingers suffered as a result of the attack.

Eyewitnesses said that the tank fire damaged the Hoda and Taqwa mosques in the area as well as a number of nearby homes.

The Israeli military confirmed the attack in a statement, saying that the tank fire came in response to an explosion targeting Israeli forces "operating adjacent to the security fence" in the area.

"The force responded with tank fire towards lookout posts used to guide the attack against the forces," the military said.

It added that no Israeli forces had been wounded in the initial explosion.

Israeli forces have launched air strikes on the Gaza Strip on a near nightly basis for the last two weeks, as rockets fired from the strip into Israel have increased in response to a major arrest campaign in the West Bank that has led to the deaths of 8 Palestinians and the detention of 566.

The Gaza Strip has been under a severe economic blockade imposed by Israel since 2007.
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