The Islamic militant group Hamas says one of its militants has been killed in an Israeli airstrike in the Gaza Strip.

Israel says it fired early Wednesday on a group of armed men in the border area.

The attack came hours after Israeli troops killed two children in northern Gaza during fighting Tuesday with Palestinian militants.

Israel's military says troops fired at two Palestinians seen next to a rocket launcher in an area where militants had fired rockets at Israel. The Israeli military accused the militants of sending children to retrieve rocket launchers after the projectiles are fired.

Earlier Tuesday, Israeli forces killed three Islamic Jihad militants in southern Gaza.

Israeli forces have carried out frequent airstrikes and incursions into Gaza since Hamas seized the territory in June in fighting with the rival Fatah faction.

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