'Jund Ansar Allah leader killed himself', says Hamas

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Jerusalem, Aug.16 (ANI): Hamas officials have said that Jund Ansar Allah leader Abdel-Latif Moussa, a.k.a Abu al-Nour al-Maqdessi, killed himself during an armed confrontation early on Saturday by detonating an explosive belt that was wrapped around his waist.

They said that the suicide took place after Moussa and his supporters were trapped inside his house in the southern town of Rafah.

Hamas banned journalists from entering Rafah or interviewing the wounded in hospitals.

The Jerusalem Post quoted the Hamas as saying over the weekend that it won't tolerate the presence of rival Islamist groups in the Gaza Strip and warned that its security forces will continue to use an iron fist to foil attempts to establish such organizations.

The warning followed a bloody weekend during which 28 Palestinians were killed and more than 120 were wounded in fierce clashes between Hamas militiamen and security forces on the one hand and members of the hitherto unknown Jund Ansar Allah ("Soldiers of the Companions of God") group.

Taher a-Nunu, a spokesman for the Hamas government, said Jund Ansar Allah was responsible for a spate of bombings against coffee shops, hair salons, Internet outlets and restaurants throughout the Gaza Strip over the past few years.

Hamas won't allow lawlessness and anarchy to return to the Gaza Strip, Nunu said.

"No one will be above the law. All members of this group must surrender and hand in their weapons; otherwise, they will be severely punished," he said.

The clashes were the worst since Hamas drove the Fatah-dominated Palestinian Authority out of the Strip two years ago.

Hamas also said that one of its top military commanders, Muhammad al-Shamali, was killed in the fighting. Shamali, who was in charge of Hamas's armed wing, Izzadin Kassam, in the southern Gaza Strip, is believed to have been involved in the abduction of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit in 2006. (ANI)

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