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Israel to pay heavy price for fatal blast, Hamas warns

Hamas accused Israel of planting booby-trapped spy equipment.

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Masked Hamas gunmen attend a funeral for six fighters who were killed in an explosion in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza Strip (Khalil Hamra/AP)

Masked Hamas gunmen attend a funeral for six fighters who were killed in an explosion in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza Strip (Khalil Hamra/AP)

Masked Hamas gunmen attend a funeral for six fighters who were killed in an explosion in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza Strip (Khalil Hamra/AP)

Hamas has vowed revenge after blaming Israel for an explosion that killed six of its fighters.

The Islamic militant group, which rules Gaza, said Israel “will pay a heavy price” for the explosion on Saturday night.

Gaza media initially reported the blast as a “work accident,” implying the militants were killed while producing or handling explosives.

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The funeral of Hamas fighters in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza Strip (Khalil Hamra/AP)

The funeral of Hamas fighters in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza Strip (Khalil Hamra/AP)

AP/PA Images

The funeral of Hamas fighters in Deir el-Balah, central Gaza Strip (Khalil Hamra/AP)

But Hamas now says the militants, including two commanders, were killed “dismantling booby-trapped spying equipment planted by Israel during the past decade in Gaza”. It did not elaborate or provide any evidence.

Israel’s military declined to comment.

Hamas’ supreme leader, Ismail Haniyeh, was among thousands of Palestinians who attended the militants’ funerals.

PA