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Two Hamas men killed in blast

October 23, 2001

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NABLUS, (West Bank) Oct 22: Two Palestinians died on Monday night when the car they were in exploded in the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinians said, adding the blast was an Israeli assassination of Palestinian militants.

The dead were named as Ayman Halawa, a member of the military wing of the militant Hamas organization on Israel’s wanted list, and Azmi Musri, who Palestinians said might have had links with Hamas.

There were conflicting accounts of the origin of the explosion. One version said an Israeli helicopter had fired a missile at the vehicle while another account said the blast was caused by a car bomb.

Israeli sources said Halawa was a senior Hamas member who was responsible for planning a series of attacks on Israeli targets.

Israel’s policy of assassinating Palestinians it accuses of masterminding or carrying out attacks against the Jewish state has drawn world-wide criticism.—dpa