Three policemen killed in bomb attacks in Gaza Strip, say officials

Aug 28,2019

Enclave placed under state of emergency following attacks blamed on IS-sympathising militant group.

Three police officers were killed in two overnight bomb attacks in the Gaza Strip, while the province was placed under a state of alert, according to Hamas officials.

Witnesses said the first blast destroyed a motorcycle as it passed a police checkpoint in the southwest of Gaza City.

Two police officers were killed and a third Palestinian wounded. It was not immediately clear if the riders were among the casualties.

The second explosion, less than an hour later, killed one officer and wounded several people at a police checkpoint about two kilometres southwest of the first blast.

After the two explosions, which firstly believed to be Israeli strikes, the interior ministry declared a state of emergency throughout Gaza, putting security forces on alert.

Spokesman of the Interior Ministry in Gaza Eyad al-Bozom said that security forces were making progress in their pursuit of those behind the explosions, but he did not disclose further details.

"The sinful hands that carried out this crime will not escape punishment," said al-Bozom.

Suicide bombings are rare in the Gaza Strip, which has been secure and stable since the end of the security chaos made by the Palestinian Authority in the wake of Hamas victory in the general elections in 2006.

The only cause insecurity in the coastal enclave is the Israeli occupation, which has launched numerous offensives, killing thousands of residents.

Hamas has run the Gaza Strip since 2007, but smaller militant groups - often aligned with al-Qaeda or IS - have arisen in recent years threatening its rule, but Hamas cracked down on them.

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