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
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Production Administrator

£17000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading and fastest ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sunroom / Conservatory / Extension Designers

£16000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Planning Assistant

£16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the count...

Recruitment Genius: Purchase Ledger Administrator

£5120 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working for one of the countr...

Day In a Page

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

Not even the 'putrid throat' could stop the Ross Poldark swoon-fest'

How a costume drama became a Sunday night staple
Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers as he pushes Tories on housing

Miliband promises no stamp duty for first-time buyers

Labour leader pushes Tories on housing
Aviation history is littered with grand failures - from the the Bristol Brabazon to Concorde - but what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?

Aviation history is littered with grand failures

But what went wrong with the SuperJumbo?
Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of Soviet-style 'iron curtains' right across Europe

Fortress Europe?

Fear of Putin, Islamists and immigration is giving rise to a new generation of 'iron curtains'
Never mind what you're wearing, it's what you're reclining on

Never mind what you're wearing

It's what you're reclining on that matters
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence