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Palestinian suicide bomber kills himself, Hamas military leader

Palestinian suicide bomber kills himself, Hamas military leader
Posted at 6:21 PM, Aug 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-18 15:00:22-04

GAZA STRIP (AVN/IRIB/CNN) -  A Palestinian suicide bomber in Gaza blew himself up Thursday morning at a checkpoint inside the coastal enclave, killing a member of Hamas' military wing, according to a statement from Gaza's Interior Minister Iyad al-Bazem. 

The bomber, identified as Mustafa Jamal Kullab, approached the Rafah checkpoint in southern Gaza where he was stopped by Gazan security forces, al-Bazem said. Kullab detonated his explosive, killing himself and wounding several others in the area.

Nidal al-Jaafari, 28, a field commander in the Qassam Brigades, the military wing of Hamas, died in the explosion.

Hamas, the militant group that runs Gaza, said Kullab, the suspected bomber, was a member of an extremist group. In recent years, Hamas has cracked down on groups inside Gaza that espouse more extremist ideologies and try to challenge Hamas' rule.

Kullab's family strongly condemned the suicide bombing in a statement, saying, "We declare our innocence of the crime and its executor, and we declare that the family refuses to establish any funeral of condolence for the perpetrator of the crime. We call upon all parties to confront extremism."

Kullab's family sent condolences to the family of al-Jaafari.

Copyright 2017 AVN/IRIB via CNN. All rights reserved.