3 Palestinians killed in internal Gaza violence

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Gaza, Oct 21: At least three Palestinians were killed and up to 35 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 others were a 13-year-old boy and a woman who were caught in the crossfire. The boy's father was among 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 hand over to Hamas security forces up to five of their number who were involved in fighting on Wednesday in which three Palestinians were killed, despite promising they would do so.

Local residents said sporadic fighting was continuing in the area of the clash.

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


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