Hamas forces defuse bomb at Gaza parliament

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Gaza, Sep 16: A Hamas-led security force said today it found a bomb outside the parliament building in the Gaza Strip, a development that could fuel tensions between governing Islamists and President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.

''We have thwarted a bombing attack against the parliament headquarters,'' said Islam Shahwan, a spokesman for Hamas's Executive Force that polices the territory.

He said the bomb contained 15 kg of explosives and was placed at the parliamentary compound's gate.

''The engineering unit of the Executive Force defused the device. The Executive force is searching for the perpetrators,'' Shahwan said.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility.

Hamas took control of the Gaza Strip in fighting against Fatah three months ago.

Tensions between the two groups continue to be high and have erupted in violence in the Gaza Strip in a series of Fatah-organised open-air prayer meetings, banned by Hamas, over the past several weeks.


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