Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian gunman in Gaza

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GAZA, Oct 31 (Reuters) Israeli troops killed a Palestinian gunman during a clash in the Gaza Strip today, hospital officials and the army said.

Palestinian hospital officials identified the 23-year-old fighter, who was killed in central Gaza near the border fence with Israel, as a member of the Islamic Jihad militant group.

An Israeli military spokesman said troops operating close to al-Bureij village in central Gaza spotted a gunman and shot him.

Israeli forces regularly carry out raids into Gaza to try to prevent Islamic Jihad and other factions from launching short-range rockets across the border into the Jewish state or firing mortar bombs at border crossings.

Earlier today, four Palestinians, including a girl, were wounded by an Israeli missile strike in an area of north Gaza used by militants to launch rockets, hospital officials said. The army said troops attacked a Palestinian mortar squad.

REUTERS AM BD2152

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