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We have Russian-made rockets: Islamic Jihad

The militants' use of longer-range rockets represents a new stage in the armed conflict with Israel.
None | By Associated Press, Jerusalem
PUBLISHED ON MAR 30, 2006 12:05 AM IST

Israelis warn that several of their southern cities, villages and strategic installations could be targeted after Palestinian militants said on Wednesday they have "many" long-range Katyusha rockets in Gaza that can fly up to 30 kilometers.

The militants' use of longer-range rockets, like the one launched for the first time from Gaza into Israel on Tuesday, represents a new stage in the armed conflict with Israel, Israeli security analysts said. In recent years, militants have fired hundreds of homemade Qassam rockets with a range of about 10 kilometers from Gaza into Israel.

The Qassams have fallen short of the Israeli city of Ashkelon. But Katyushas could easily reach the city,and a sensitive industrial area just south of it.

A shaky video released by Islamic Jihad on Wednesday shows what it says is the Katyusha launch. A slender rocket is seen perched on its launcher among greenhouses in northern Gaza, with the tall smokestacks of the Ashkelon power station clearly visible in the background. The handheld camera loses track of the rocket after it leaps into the air. The Israeli military said ithe Katyusha caused no casualties or damage when it exploded.

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