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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 December 2005, 07:52 GMT
Two die in Gaza border incidents
Crowd looks at the wrecked car near Khan Younis
Reports say the car blast centred on the back of the vehicle
A Palestinian militant leader and a suspected Palestinian militant have been killed in a series of violent incidents in the Gaza Strip.

A man named as an Abu Rish Brigades leader died when his car blew up during the night near Khan Younis in the south, and three others were injured.

Earlier, Israel said it shot dead a militant he tried to plant a bomb.

Then at least three Palestinians were wounded when Israeli aircraft bombed roads and a bridge in the north.

Israel said the sites were used by militants firing rockets into Israel.

The victims, including at least two policemen, were injured when Israeli aircraft fired at least six missiles in the Beit Hanun and Beit Lahiya areas overnight, security sources told the AFP news agency.

'Explosion in boot'

The man killed near Khan Younis on Saturday was identified as Khaled Abu Sitta, 25, whose group is linked to the Fatah movement of Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas.

Three other people were injured in the explosion, which appeared to centre on the boot of the car and not the engine, where Israeli missiles usually hit, the Associated Press reports.

An angry crowd carried the dead man away from the smouldering wreckage of the car.

The Israel army, which routinely acknowledges carrying out attacks, said it was not involved.

Israel confirmed that it shot a suspect in the north of the strip on Saturday as he reportedly tried to lay mines.

He was killed near the Erez Crossing by gun and tank fire, which apparently set off one of the mines.

"The troops saw that he was dealing with various wires and, suspecting that he was planting a bomb, they opened fire at him and identified a hit," an army spokeswoman said.

Earlier this week, four Palestinians were killed and several wounded in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip.

Israel has stepped up targeted strikes on members of Palestinian militant groups following a suicide bombing that killed five people in the Israeli town of Netanya earlier this month.


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