Middle EastWar

Gaza police killed in overnight bomb attacks

Hamas said Wednesday, August 28 that two overnight bomb attacks killed three police officers in the Gaza Strip as the Palestinian enclave was placed under a state of alert.

Interior ministry spokesperson Iyad al-Bozm said in an evening statement that they had identified the two bombers who blew themselves up at two police checkpoints in Gaza City.

He did not name them but said security forces “continue to investigate who is behind them.”

Witnesses told AFP that both bombings were suicide attacks by assailants on motorbikes, but there was no official confirmation.

A source familiar with the investigation said a Salafist movement in Gaza that sympathizes with Islamic State was suspected.

One of the suspected bombers was previously held in a Hamas operation against ISIS-linked militants, the BBC reported.

Hamas’s interior ministry earlier confirmed the three deaths, but spoke only of two “bombings” in Gaza City without providing details.

It had earlier said two officers died in “two explosions targeting police checkpoints” late Tuesday night, before revising the toll to three.

Several people were wounded in both attacks, which happened less than an hour apart.

Suicide bombings are rare in the Gaza Strip.

In August 2017, a suicide bomber killed a Hamas guard in southern Gaza on the border with Egypt.

Hamas, itself an Islamist movement, has run the Gaza Strip since 2007 but has been regularly criticized by more radical Salafist groups in the impoverished, Israeli-blockaded coastal territory.

With reporting from AFP

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