Six Palestinians, including militants, killed in Gaza

GAZA (Reuters) – The Israeli army on Saturday killed six Palestinians, including five militants, in two separate incidents in the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip, Palestinian medical officials and Hamas said.

Gaza medical workers said they collected three wounded Palestinians and one dead body from an area east of Gaza City near the border fence with Israel.

Local residents said they had earlier heard gunfire in the area. An Israeli army spokesman said troops shot at Palestinian gunmen who had opened fire at a force patrolling the area.

Earlier, five Hamas militants were killed in an Israeli missile attack in the southern part of the coastal enclave near the city of Khan Younis.

The Islamist Hamas movement, which seized control of the Gaza Strip in June after fighting with forces loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said at least five other militants were wounded in the strike.

An Israeli army spokesman confirmed there had been an air strike against militants in Gaza.

The Israeli army often attacks militants in the coastal territory to try to stop them from firing rockets at southern Israeli towns and placing explosives near the border fence aimed at attacking Israeli troops.

The Izz el-Deen al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, vowed to avenge the death of its five gunmen saying they will “respond in the suitable time and place” to the Israeli attacks.

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