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Hamas activist killed in Gaza explosion

Feb. 22, 2004 at 7:04 AM

GAZA CITY, Gaza, Feb. 22 (UPI) -- A leader in the Palestinian Islamic Resistance Movement, Hamas, was reportedly killed Sunday in a "mysterious explosion" in the Gaza Strip.

Palestinian sources identified the victim as Abdul Salam Abu Mousa, a field leader of the Izziddine al-Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas.

They said Abu Mousa was killed by an explosion in the town of Khan Younes in the southern Gaza Strip, but added the circumstances surrounding the explosion were still unclear.

However, the sources said they suspect the incident could have been caused by a "technical malfunction while (he was) firing a mortar towards a Jewish settlement."

Izziddine al-Qassam Brigades had not issued a statement regarding Abu Mousa, who a few months ago escaped an assassination attempt when Israeli helicopter gunships fired at his house and destroyed it.

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