Suspects in Italian's murder die in Gaza raid

Two suspects in the killing of Vittorio Arrigoni, the slain peace activist, die in shootout with Hamas security forces.

    Vittorio Arrigoni, who had lived in Gaza since 2008, was murdered last week by members of a Salafist group [AFP]

    A shootout at a refugee camp in Gaza City between Hamas security forces and the men suspected of killing an Italian peace activist last week has left two of the suspects dead.

    The first suspect, a Jordanian, is reported to have shot himself during the operation. The second died of his injuries in hospital, while a third man has been arrested.

    Vittorio Arrigoni was kidnapped on Thursday and found strangled in Gaza City on Friday.

    Several members of Hamas were injured in Tuesday's violence, as well as a girl caught in the crossfire

    The three suspects are alleged to have had links to al-Qaeda.

    Al Jazeera's Nicole Johnston, reporting from Gaza City, said that Hamas had tried to negotiate with the kidnappers.

    The talks failed and an explosion was heard as shooting resumed between the Hamas forces and the gunmen who were holed up in a four-storey building in Nuseirat, a refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip.

    The Hamas-run interior ministry declared the area a closed security zone and blocked roads leading to the
    scene.

    The Salafist group which abducted Arrigoni threatened to execute him unless its leader, detained by Hamas last month, was freed.

    Arrigoni had lived in Gaza since arriving in 2008 aboard a humanitarian aid boat that Israel had admitted
    despite imposing a blockade on the territory.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and agencies


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