Thursday, February 02, 2006

Explosion in Gaza raises tension


An explosion has rocked the house of a former security Palestinian chief and senior Fatah party member in Gaza.

The bomb attack in the southern town of Khan Yunis destroyed the walls of Suleiman Abu Mutlak's home, but caused no casualties.

Mr Abu Mutlak and other Fatah officials accused the militant group Hamas, who won a majority in legislative elections last week, of being behind the blast.

But a Hamas spokesman denied its members were responsible.

"We categorically reject any responsibility in this incident," Sami Abu Zuhri told the AFP news agency.

"These are baseless accusations."

The explosion was caused by 3kg of explosives detonated by remote control.
Following the blast, Palestinian security forces sealed off the area.

It was the first attack on a leading politician since Hamas' unexpected electoral victory last week.

Correspondents say friction between Fatah and the Hamas military wing Ezzedine al-Qassam has increased since the election.