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News number: 8711081202

14:36 | 2009-01-27

World

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Blast Kills Israeli Soldier

TEHRAN (FNA)- A bomb explosion killed an Israeli soldier and left three others wounded near the Gaza Strip border.



According to Dubai-based Al Arabiya television, the explosion occurred earlier on Tuesday.

Palestinians living near the Kissufim crossing told Reuters that they had seen two or three gunmen moving toward the border fence early in the morning mist.

The residents said they later heard explosions and gunfire shortly after 8 am (0600 GMT).

It is not yet clear who caused the explosion.

The Israeli military says the blast was the result of a bomb explosion close to forces stationed on its own side of the Gaza border fence.

Israel has not revealed the identity of its soldier, as it withholds news of deaths until their families are notified.

The reported blast follows Operation Cast Lead, which was unleashed against the Gaza Strip on Dec. 27.

At least 1,330 Palestinians died during the offensive, while some 5,450 others were reported wounded.

The high civilian death toll in the war has put Tel Aviv under the threat of war crime charges due to its use of white phosphorous, classified as a 'chemical' by US intelligence, and because of its shelling of UN schools and installations that were serving as shelters.