Nine wounded in clash at Gaza mosque

Hamas, Fatah loyalists fight after Islamist group tries to replace cleric with one of its religious leaders.

September 29, 2007 21:42
Nine wounded in clash at Gaza mosque

Fatah demo Gaza 224.88. (photo credit: AP)

Hamas and Fatah loyalists clashed Saturday at a mosque in the southern Gaza Strip, leaving nine people wounded in the latest flare-up of violence between the two factions, witnesses and medical officials said. The melee erupted after Hamas tried to replace an independent cleric at a mosque in the town of Khan Yunis with one of its own religious leaders, witnesses said. What began as fistfights soon degenerated into face-offs with stones and knives. Hamas security officials who arrived at the scene fired rounds in the air, then came under fire themselves from a nearby area, witnesses said. Medical sources in Khan Yunis said nine people suffered knife and gunshot wounds, including two who were critically hurt. Hamas security officials were sealing the area and pressing the local clan to hand over the people who opened fire on Hamas forces. Security officials confirmed a clash, but wouldn't give details. The Hamas Interior Ministry, which is responsible for security in Gaza, said an unspecified number of unidentified people were arrested.

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