Israel shoots dead two gunmen

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The Independent Online

Israeli soldiers shot and killed two Palestinian gunmen who infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip today, the military said.

Israeli soldiers shot and killed two Palestinian gunmen who infiltrated Israel from the Gaza Strip today, the military said.

The gunmen, who cut through the fence that surrounds the Gaza Strip and reached an orchard just 300 meters (yards) from an Israeli community, were killed after a lengthy gunbattle, the military said.

One of the gunmen blew up when troops shot him, apparently because he had an explosives belt strapped on, the army said.

Residents of the nearby kibbutz, or communal farm, remained confined to their homes as troops searched the orchard for more explosives or arms.

Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the Gaza Strip has increased in recent months as each side tries to declare victory ahead of a planned Israeli withdrawal from the coastal area.

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