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Explosions hit Gaza police checkpoints, two dead -officials

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Explosions hit Gaza police checkpoints, two dead -officials
Palestinians check the scene following an explosion in Gaza City August 27, 2019. REUTERS/Mohammed Salem   -   Copyright  MOHAMMED SALEM(Reuters)
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GAZA (Reuters) – Explosions hit two police checkpoints in the Gaza Strip on Tuesday, killing two officers and wounding several other Palestinians, the Hamas-run interior ministry said, declaring a state of emergency after the blasts.

A spokesman for the Israeli military said he knew of no involvement by Israel in the back-to-back incidents in Gaza city at a time of simmering cross-border confrontations with Hamas, the Palestinian enclave’s ruling Islamists.

The first blast destroyed a motorcycle as it passed a police checkpoint with two riders aboard, witnesses said. Two policemen were killed and a third Palestinian wounded. It was not immediately clear if the riders were among the casualties.

The second explosion, less than an hour later, wounded several people at a police checkpoint elsewhere in the city, the interior ministry said. The ministry declared a state of emergency throughout Gaza, putting security forces on alert.

Hamas, which took over Gaza in a 2007 civil war with the forces of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, has at times faced internal opposition from more stringent Islamist militants aligned with al Qaeda or Islamic State.

(Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; writing by Dan Williams; editing by Jonathan Oatis and Grant McCool)

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