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Hamas bombs Gaza security chief's house

The attack in the town of Khan Younis was the first against a leader of the Palestinian security service since Hamas won the polls.

india Updated: Feb 01, 2006 14:08 IST

Hamas militants detonated a bomb outside the house of a senior Palestinian security chief in the Gaza Strip on Wednesday, hurting no one.

The blast, however, caused extensive damage, Palestinian security officials said.

The attack in the town of Khan Younis was the first against a leader of the Palestinian security service since Hamas won the January 25 parliamentary election by a landslide.

There has long been bad blood between Hamas and the Palestinian security forces, dominated by President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction.

The bomb blew the front door off the house of Suleiman Abu Mutleq, director-general of the Preventive Security Agency in the Gaza Strip, Palestinian officials said, blaming Hamas militants for the incident.

Tension has risen in Gaza since Hamas's election victory amid concerns by members of the Palestinian security forces that the militant Islamic group will try to assert control over the Palestinian Authority's 60,000 paramilitary police.

Tempers were also high after a senior leader of Hamas's armed wing was critically hurt by unknown assailants in a drive-by shooting near the southern Gaza town of Rafah on Monday.

The Preventive Security Agency was established to curb the activities of militant groups.

It was responsible for arresting Hamas militants during a crackdown in 1996 ordered by the late Palestinian president, Yasser Arafat.

First Published: Feb 01, 2006 14:08 IST