Israel denies attack that killed teen

2012-03-12 13:00
Gaza City - The Israeli army on Monday denied it had carried out an air strike on northern Gaza which killed a teenager, with an AFP correspondent confirming there was no sign of an air raid.

Fifteen-year-old Nayef Qarmut was killed and six other teenagers injured as they were on their way to school near the northern town of Beit Lahiya, with a spokesperson for the Palestinian medical services blaming an Israeli drone strike.

"A drone strike hit a group of students who were walking by empty land on their way to school," said spokesperson Adham Abu Selmiya, describing an incident which occurred at around 09:30 (local time).

But the Israeli military, after looking into the claim, denied it had conducted any air strikes in northern Gaza then, saying the last time it had struck the area was in the early hours of Monday.

"From an initial check, there were no air strikes in the northern Gaza Strip since the early hours of the morning," a military spokesperson said.

Lost legs

According to an AFP correspondent at the scene, there were no signs of any impact on the ground which could have been caused by a missile, with the most likely cause of his death being some kind of explosive device he was carrying.

The victim lost his legs in the blast and his body was covered with shrapnel wounds, he said.

Six other school children were injured, two of whom were in critical condition, while four sustained moderate wounds, medics said.

The boy's death came as Israel continued to pound the Gaza Strip, and as militants fired successive barrages of rockets into southern Israel in a confrontation which has so far killed 20 people since it erupted on Friday afternoon.

Read more on:    gaza strip  |  israel  |  middle east peace

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