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Middle east

Israeli air strikes target Gaza border tunnels

Latest update : 2009-05-02

Israeli warplanes targeted tunnels near the town of Rafah along Gaza's border with Egypt after mortars were fired from the Palestinian territory into Israel. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

REUTERS - Israeli warplanes bombed tunnels beneath the border between the Gaza Strip and Egypt on Saturday after militants fired several mortars at the Jewish state from the coastal territory, witnesses said.


The Israeli military confirmed it had launched several air strikes near the Gaza town of Rafah, along the Egyptian border, but had no further comment.


There were no immediate reports of casualties.


Israel had resumed attacks on Friday on tunnels it says are used to smuggle weapons into the Gaza Strip, after a nearly two-month hiatus in such strikes. There were no casualties in Friday's air strikes, launched after a rocket struck Israel.


Israel said three mortars were fired at Israel from the northern Gaza Strip on Saturday, causing no casualties. The Palestinian Resistance Committees, a militant group in Gaza, claimed it had fired the mortars on Saturday.


Militant rocket fire has dropped significantly since Egypt began efforts to consolidate the Jan. 18 truce that ended Israel's 22-day offensive against Gaza's Islamic militants.


Israel launched its war on the territory controlled by the Islamist Hamas movement in late December, with the aim of halting cross-border rocket and mortar attacks on the Jewish state by armed militant groups.


A Palestinian human rights organisation says 1,417 people were killed, of whom 926 were civilians. The Israeli military says the death toll was 1,166 of whom 295 were civilians.

Date created : 2009-05-02