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Tension mounts in Gaza after schoolboy murders

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Tension mounts in Gaza after schoolboy murders

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Security forces have been deployed across Gaza after the murder of three schoolboys yesterday that outraged Palestinians across the political divide. Tensions have soared with armed factions loyal to President Mahmoud Abbas and his rival Hamas group both carrying out patrols. Gun battles have been reported this morning. Meanwhile, outside the school where the three boys, aged between six and ten, were shot, classmates have burned tyres in protest at the killings. They were the sons of Baha Balousha, an intelligence chief loyal to Abbas and his moderate Fatah party. Some experts think Balousha himself was the intended target. No group has yet claimed responsibility although a senior Fatah official has blamed the ruling Islamic Hamas party. Hamas angrily denies this. Last night its supporters marched to Balousha’s home to show their support for the grieving father. Despite the gesture, the atmosphere in Gaza remains extremely volatile.