6 killed by huge bomb in Gaza

GAZA CITY (AFP) - Palestinian radicals using an apartment as a bomb factory touched off a thunderous explosion that killed six people yesterday.

The Palestinian police chief, Ghazi Jabali, said members of the hardline Islamic Resistance Movement (Hamas) were responsible for the blast that wrecked a three-storey building in the heart of Gaza City.

Palestinian police found 30 kilograms (70 pounds) of explosive powder, 70 litres of explosive liquid, a 10-kilo bomb, six missiles and dozens of homemade rockets in the apartment - and an Uzi sub-machine-gun, two assault rifles and 150 greandes.

The explosion killed Kamal Kheil, 28, a leader of Ezzedin al-Kassam, the Hamas armed wing, four of his colleagues and a four-year-old boy. Many people were wounded.

It scattered human remains in a radius of up to 100m. "I saw heads and organs flung through the air," said Jamal al-Assali, 25, who lives in the Sheikh Radwan district, a Hamas stronghold.

Hatem Abu Kaied heard "a colossal noise which terrified everybody". There were "blown-up bodies and corpses, including a baby. It was terrible."

Mr Jabali said the whole neighbourhood could have been blown up if police had not arrived quickly and neutralised the rest of the explosives by dousing them with water - sending up toxic fumes that injured 40 people.

Kheil was on Israel's most-wanted list for the killing in 1993 of Lieutenant- Colonel Meir Mintz, the highest ranking Israeli killed during its occupation of Gaza. He was suspected of involvement in the killing of at least 16 Palestinian collaborators. The Palestinian Authority wanted to question him in connection with the deaths of three other Palestinians, killed since self-rule began in May.

In an effort to derail the Israel-PLO accord, Hamas has carried out a series of suicide attacks, including a Tel Aviv bus bombing in October in which 22 people died. It blamed yesterday's explosion on Israel and the PLO, threatening "swift and painful retaliation''. Palestinian journalists who knew Kheil said that he wore an explosive-laden belt which he vowed to set off if in danger of capture.

Photograph, page 13

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksAn introduction to the ground rules of British democracy
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Clinical Lead / RGN

£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: IT Sales Consultant

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...

Recruitment Genius: Works Engineer

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Hire Manager - Tool Hire

£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...

Day In a Page

Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent