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Hamas militant was target of deadly air strike, says Gaza MP

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-04-07

The target of an air strike that killed two people in Sudan was a top Hamas militant who escaped without injury, a Gaza-based MP said Thursday. The accusation comes a day after Khartoum accused Israel of being behind the attack.

AFP - An air strike which killed two people in Sudan targeted a top Hamas militant who escaped unharmed, a Gaza-based MP told a local news website on Thursday.

Hamas MP Ismail al-Ashqar told the Gaza-based Safa news agency his nephew Abdel Latif al-Ashqar, whom he described as a "big military leader" within the group's armed wing, was present at the time of the attack but survived.

He was "the main target from the air raid but Allah blinded them and saved him," he told the news agency.

Ashqar did not respond to calls to confirm the report, and Hamas officials were not immediately available to comment on the claim which came two days after an unidentified plane fired a missile at a small car driving between the airport and Port Sudan, killing both passengers.

Officials said the plane flew in from the Red Sea then headed back in the same direction.

A day later, Khartoum accused Israel of being behind the attack which made front-page news in the Jewish state. The Israeli army and foreign ministry refused to comment on the allegations.

Israel has previously expressed concern about suspected arms smuggling through Sudan, whose government has close ties with Gaza's Hamas rulers.

Tuesday's attack mirrored a similar strike by foreign aircraft on a truck convoy in eastern Sudan in January 2009.

At the time, US and Israeli media reports said the trucks were carrying weapons to supply Gaza militants during Israel's devastating three-week offensive against the territory.

Date created : 2011-04-07


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