Three Hamas men killed in Gaza car blast

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GAZA, Oct 2 (Reuters) Three Hamas security force members were killed and one wounded when a car exploded outside a security headquarters building belonging to the Islamist group in Gaza City today, a Hamas spokesman and medics said.

It was not immediately clear what caused the explosion in the Hamas-run coastal enclave. An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was not aware of any involvement by Israel in the incident.

Palestinian medics said they received three bodies and said one person was seriously injured. Earlier, medics and witnesses said two Palestinians were killed in the blast.

The Hamas spokesmen said all four men belonged to the group's newly formed naval police force. Hamas's paramilitary Executive Force police is investigating the explosion.

Tensions between Hamas and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas's secular Fatah faction have been running high in Gaza since the Islamist group seized control of the enclave in June.

Israel regularly launches pinpointed attacks against militants in the Gaza Strip to try to curb cross-border rockets fired by Palestinian militants into nearby Israeli towns.

Earlier today, Israel sent 29 prisoners home to the territory as part of an attempt to bolster Abbas of the secular Fatah faction ahead of a US-sponsored conference on Palestinian statehood.

Reuters SBA VP0040

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