Palestinian schoolchildren killed in explosion

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The Independent Online

Four Palestinian children were killed on Thursday when an explosion went off near their elementary school.

Palestinian officials initially said an Israeli tank shell hit the school, but later withdrew the claim. The Israeli military denied troops fired in the area Thursday morning.

The blast went off at about 7:30 a.m. in the Khan Younis refugee camp in the southern Gaza Strip. A group of children was en route to their U.N.-run elementary school when the explosion went off.

Four children, apparently all members of the same family, were killed in the blast, and a fifth child was wounded, said Colonel Khaled Abu Ola, a Palestinian security commander.

Abu Ola said it appeared the children had picked up an unexploded Israeli shell, setting off the explosion. He initially had claimed that an Israeli tank had fired a shell into the elementary school Thursday morning.

The Israeli military denied troops fired in the area Thursday morning.

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