Palestinian militant, Israeli soldier killed in Gaza

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GAZA, Oct 17 (Reuters) An Israeli soldier and a Palestinian militant were killed today during fighting in the southern Gaza Strip.

An army spokeswoman said the soldier was killed when an Israeli force, operating inside the Hamas-controlled territory near the border with Israel, came under Palestinian fire.

A Hamas source said one of the group's fighters had fired the missile and that another was killed during the clash east of the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis.

Israel withdrew troops and Jewish settlers from the Gaza Strip in 2005, though it retains control of its air, land and sea borders and frequently conducts cross-border raids in an effort to quell rocket fire by militants into southern Israel.

REUTERS PD HT1737

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