Gunmen kidnap Egyptian envoy

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Egypt's military attache to the Palestinian Authority has been abducted by masked gunmen in a daylight attack just outside the Egyptian mission.

The kidnapping of a diplomat from one of the Palestinians' most important allies signalled that no one was immune from increasing lawlessness in the Gaza Strip. The identity and motives of the militants who ambushed Hussam Almousaly's car was not known.

The abduction came as violence flared in Gaza. Palestinian militants launched rockets into Israel and the Israelis retaliated with artillery fire and air strikes. Sami Abu Zuhri, a spokesman for Hamas, condemned the abduction, saying it "harmed the Palestinians' strong relations with Egypt".