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Hamas fighter killed in accident in southern Gaza tunnel

Jan. 15, 2016 11:56 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 15, 2016 3:49 P.M.)
GAZA CITY (Ma'an) -- A member of Hamas' armed wing was killed by an electric shock in a tunnel near Rafah city in the southern Gaza Strip on Friday, the Gazan Ministry of Health said.

Ministry spokesperson Ashraf al-Qidra said that 22-year-old Bassam Ayyoub al-Akhras, a member of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam Brigades, received the shock while working in the tunnel.

He added that al-Akhras came from the al-Shabura area of Rafah.

Gaza's tunnel networks are notoriously dangerous. The Institute for Palestine Studies reported in 2012 that Hamas authorities had counted 160 deaths inside the tunnels since the Israeli blockade began in 2007, and in August 2014, al-Jazeera reported that figure to be as high as 400.

While the tunnels are used by Hamas as a source of tax revenue and inflow of weapons, they also supply highly-demanded necessities for Gaza's 1.8 million residents under the blockade, including food, medicine, as well as infrastructure materials like concrete and fuel.
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