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WEST BANK

Key Islamic Jihad militant among two killed by Israelis

NABLUS, West Bank -- Israeli troops killed two Islamic Jihad militants yesterday, including the man the group described as the leader of its militant wing in the West Bank city of Nablus.

Hani Awijan, 29, who headed gunmen in Nablus, was shot by Israeli undercover troops trying to arrest him while he played soccer with friends and relatives, according to local media reports. Israel Radio said Awijan was responsible for a series of attacks on Israelis.

The identify of the other militant was not released.

News of the arrest raid spread through Nablus . Militants called for a general strike in the city. Shops were quickly closed.

In the Gaza Strip, an Israeli aircraft fired a missile into the house of a member of the Islamic militant group Hamas in Gaza City, but there were no casualties, Palestinian witnesses said.

An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed an airstrike had targeted a structure used by Hamas, without elaborating.

Material from Reuters was included in this report.

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