Two Palestinians killed in internal Gaza violence

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GAZA, Oct 20 (Reuters) At least two Palestinians were killed and up to 20 wounded in Gaza City today in clashes between Hamas Islamists and a clan loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas of Fatah, hospital officials said.

Medical staff said one of the dead was a member of the clan and the other a 13-year-old boy who was caught in the crossfire.

The boy's father was one of the wounded.

Hamas officials said the fighting erupted when clan members fired at a vehicle carrying Hamas fighters who passed nearby.

The clan members have refused to surrender to Hamas security forces up to five of their number who were involved in fighting on Wednesday in which three Palestinians were killed, despite committing to do so.

Local residents said sporadic fighting was continuing in the area between the factions.

Wednesday's clash was one of the biggest since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip after routing Abbas's forces in a brief civil war in June.

REUTERS SZ RK1630

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