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Last Updated: Monday, 27 February 2006, 12:23 GMT
Blast at Israeli weapons centre
Several people have been hurt in an explosion at a major arms research facility in Israel, police and medical sources say.

The blast was heard near the entrance to the Rafael military research centre, near the northern port city of Haifa.

Early reports suggest it was caused by an accident. Medical sources said none of those injured was seriously hurt.

The facility develops weapons, including missiles and drones, for the Israeli defence ministry.

"We are not talking about a suicide attack... It is a work accident," Moshe Weizman, a regional police spokesman, was quoted as telling Israel Army Radio.

Fire officials told the Associated Press news agency that the site at Kiryat Bialik, near Haifa, had not had an accident in the past 20 years.

Rafael is responsible for developing some of Israel's most sophisticated weapons and serves a number of overseas clients.



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