Explosion kills 10 at Hamas rally

Published September 24, 2005

GAZA, Sept 23: An explosion at a Hamas rally killed at least 10 Palestinians, including children, in the Gaza Strip on Friday in the first deadly incident in the territory since Israel completed its withdrawal on Sept 12.

Hamas accused Israel of attacking the procession of military vehicles and thousands of marchers chanted for revenge.

But the Israeli army denied any involvement in the explosion, hours after Islamic Jihad militants fired rockets into Israel in retaliation for a deadly West Bank raid.

At least two children were among the dead in the explosion at the rally in the densely packed Jabalya refugee camp, a show of armed force by Hamas following Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza after 38 years of occupation.

“Israel has targeted a Hamas rally in Jabalya with an air strike,” said spokesman Sami Abu Zuhri. About 60 people were wounded and medics feared the death toll could rise. The blast turned one of the Hamas vehicles into a makeshift wreck. Some of the convoy had been carrying makeshift rockets.

“I was thrown several metres, then I looked behind and I saw people dismembered and lying on the ground dead,” said one witness.—Reuters

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