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2 Dead in Latest Factional Fighting in Gaza


Palestinian officials say at least two Hamas security officers were killed in fresh clashes with members of the Fatah faction loyal to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Gaza Strip.

Officials say at least 16 other people were wounded in the fighting between the rival factions Saturday in a suburb of Gaza City.

They say the clashes occurred as Hamas security forces continued their efforts to arrest suspects they believe were behind a bombing a week ago that killed five Hamas members and a young girl. Fatah denies any involvement.

On Friday, Hamas security forces arrested 15 senior Fatah leaders in Gaza.

Hamas, which controls Gaza, said the arrests were in direct response to the recent detention of Hamas leaders in the Fatah-controlled West Bank.

On Thursday, President Abbas ordered his security forces to release hundreds of Hamas members detained in a recent series of West Bank raids. Hamas says none of the officials has been freed.

Hamas recently widened a crackdown against rival factions in the Gaza Strip.

Human rights groups say both Hamas and Fatah have carried out dozens of politically motivated arrests in the past week.

The two Palestinian factions have been at odds since Hamas routed Fatah forces and seized control of Gaza last year.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and Reuters.


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