GAZA CITY, (AFP) – Five Palestinians were killed Wednesday when an explosion collapsed a tunnel running under the border between the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip and Egypt, a hospital official said.
“The bodies of three other Palestinians were found buried in the tunnel during the night,” said an official in Rafah’s Abu Yusuf al-Najah hospital in Rafah.
The bodies of two other people were found immediately after the blast ripped through tunnel located in Rafah, which straddles the border.
Earlier medics said at least four people were injured in the explosion, the cause of which was not immediately known.
Several Palestinians have died in similar incidents in recent months in the tunnels, which are used to smuggle arms, fuel and other supplies into Gaza.
The impoverished coastal strip has been under a crippling Israeli blockade since the Islamist Hamas movement — which is sworn to the destruction of the Jewish state — seized power in June 2007.