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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 September 2006, 12:12 GMT 13:12 UK
Gaza strikes kill Hamas militants
Car burns after Israeli strike in Gaza
Israeli military said it was targeting militants in the attacks
Five Hamas militants have died in a series of Israeli strikes in southern Gaza, Palestinian officials said.

An Israeli raid early on Wednesday killed one militant and hurt three near the town of Khan Younis, they said.

A 16-year-old boy was also killed when Israeli forces launched a limited incursion close to the town.

Hours earlier, four Hamas militants were killed in Israeli air strikes on vehicles in Rafah town. At least 20 bystanders were hurt in those attacks.

Israeli forces have been carrying out raids and air strikes on Gaza after the capture of an Israeli soldier in June.

Over 200 Palestinians have since been killed by Israeli action.

'Several explosions'

The latest Israeli incursion near the southern city of Khan Younis began before dawn.

More than a dozen tanks and bulldozers, backed up by helicopters and unmanned aircraft, pushed about a kilometre (0.6 mile) deep into the territory.

Two men were killed in the incursion. One was a Hamas militant and the other was a 16-year-old boy.

Witnesses said that the boy was a civilian but an Israeli army spokesperson said he was shot on suspicion of planting explosives.

Two Hamas militants were killed in the earlier strike on a car in Rafah.

Hours before that, an Israeli drone attacked a vehicle being used by two members of Hamas' military wing. Both men were killed.

Dozens of bystanders were also hurt, Palestinian doctors said.

Many of the injured are said to have been hit by a second blast, having rushed to the vehicle to help its passengers after the initial explosion.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said the missiles had targeted militants planning an attack on Israel.

"After the aerial attack, there were a number of explosions, proving that the vehicle was carrying explosives," the spokeswoman said.






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