Saturday, July 29, 2006

Israel kills Islamic Jihad leader

Aljazeera - Israeli troops have killed a senior leader of Islamic Jihad in a West Bank raid as they pressed ahead with their offensive in the Gaza Strip.

In announcements from mosque loudspeakers, the group said that Hani Awijan, the leader of its Nablus wing, was killed by Israeli undercover troops.

Islamic Jihad said the troops came to arrest him while he was playing football with friends and relatives.

Another fighter was also killed.

The Israeli army confirmed soldiers had operated in Nablus and said a member of Islamic Jihad was killed in an exchange of fire.

Israeli radio said Awijan was responsible for a series of attacks on Israelis.

Over the past 17 months, Islamic Jihad has been responsible for all 12 suicide bombing attacks in Israel, killing 71 people.

News of the incident spread through Nablus and large crowds gathered at the hospital.

Members of Islamic Jihad burned tyres in the streets and called for a general strike in the city.