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Sunday, 16 August 2009

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Hamas crackdown on radical group

The Hamas organisation that controls Gaza has launched a bloody crackdown on a radical Islamist group after it declared Gaza an "Islamic emirate".At least 16 people died and scores were injured when Hamas fighters attacked the Jund Ansar Allah group in a mosque in Rafah, near the Egypt border.Hamas also stormed the house of its leader, the cleric Abdul-Latif Moussa, but his fate is not known.A Hamas spokesman said that group members must hand themselves in.The fighting lasted seven hours and ended at about midnight.

Six Hamas fighters and one civilian died, the rest of those killed were among the Jund Ansar Allah.

About 120 people were injured, with some in a critical condition, the BBC's Rushdi Abu Alouf says.The Hamas spokesman, Taher al-Nono, said: "We hold Abdul-Latif Moussa and his followers fully responsible for what happened because of his hasty declaration during Friday prayers of a so-called 'Islamic Emirate'.The Jund Ansar Allah (Army of the Helpers of God) is thought to be linked to al-Qaeda.Mr Nono said: "Anyone who belongs to this group has to immediately hand himself and his weapons over to the Palestinian police and security forces." Another Hamas official, Sami Abu Zuhri, branded the cleric's speech "wrong thinking".

-BBC

 

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