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15 April 2007

Bombs hit Christian bookstore, two Internet cafes in Gaza City

medium_bookstore.jpgThree explosions rocked Gaza City early Sunday, damaging two Internet cafes and a Christian bookstore

No one was hurt and no group claimed responsibility for the blasts, which took place around 3 a.m. local time, Palestinian security officials said.

But heavy external damage was visible at the three stores. At the bookstore, which is funded by American Protestants and known as the Bible Society, a number of books were also burned in the explosion.

Several similar attacks on Internet cafes and music stores in recent months have been claimed by a little-known extremist Islamic organization calling itself the Swords of Truth.

The officials would not speculate on the identity of the attackers behind the Sunday attacks, saying only that the incidents were under investigation. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the press.

In recent months, about three dozen Internet cafes and shops selling pop music have been attacked in the Gaza Strip, with assailants detonating small bombs outside businesses at night, causing damage but no injuries. Palestinian security officials have said they suspect a secret vice squad of Muslim militants.

POSTED BY /http://www.haaretz.com

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