Top Islamic Jihad leader killed in Gaza blast
Gaza, February 16, 2008
Eight people were killed, including a commander of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement, and some 40 were wounded when an explosion destroyed a house in the Gaza Strip late on Friday, a group spokesman and local medics said.
The Israeli army denied any involvement. Islamic Jihad said an air strike caused the blast, which also killed three other militants as well as the wife and two young children of the commander, Ayman Fayed, better known as Abu Abdallah.
'We will respond to this Zionist massacre painfully,' Abu Ahmed, a spokesman for Islamic Jihad's armed wing said. 'We will strike the enemy everywhere.'
A senior figure in the movement linked the incident to Israeli threats to kill senior militants it holds responsible for rockets fired into Israel - and to this week's killing in Damascus of a top commander of Lebanon's Hezbollah group.
An Israeli military spokeswoman denied any role in the Gaza blast, saying: 'The Israeli army spokesman announces that the military has no connection to this matter.'
Relatives said a son and daughter of the 41-year-old Fayed, aged 6 and 5, were killed. Three of his other children were wounded.
Rescuers combing the rubble in the dark found one body three hours after the blast, which also damaged surrounding homes.-Reuters