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Palestinian bodyguard shot in new Gaza violence

Written by: Staff

GAZA, May 14 :Masked gunmen today shot and wounded a Palestinian bodyguard for an intelligence chief reporting to President Mahmoud Abbas, security officials said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the shooting, another case of internal violence in the Gaza Strip where rivalry between the governing Hamas group and Abbas's Fatah faction has led to bloodshed in recent weeks.

Fahd Abu Amraim is a bodyguard for Tareq Abu Rajab, chief of General Intelligence, who was not in the area at the time. Abu Rajab reports to Abbas.

Security officials said about 10 masked gunmen had opened fire at Abu Amraim in Gaza's Beach refugee camp, wounding him in the legs, and then took away his pistol and mobile telephone.

A 13-year-old passerby was also wounded.

Internal violence in Gaza has been fuelled by a power struggle between Abbas and Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh over control of security forces.

Israeli forces and settlers pulled out of Gaza last year and internal clashes in the territory have raised fears among Palestinians of civil war.

Last week, three gunmen were killed and a dozen people wounded in violence between Fatah and Hamas. The two organisations agreed to set up a joint committee to defuse tensions.

Hamas, a militant Islamist group, came to power in March after trouncing Fatah in a January parliamentary election.


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