GAZA (Reuters) – Hamas security forces clashed with gunmen from the Army of Islam, an al Qaeda-inspired group, in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, part of a security crackdown following a surge in internal violence.
One Hamas commander was seriously wounded in the fighting, which started when the Hamas forces sought to arrest some Army of Islam gunmen, Hamas officials and local residents said. Two Army of Islam gunmen were arrested.
Hamas, which seized control of the Gaza Strip a year ago, launched the crackdown over the weekend after a series of bombings, including one on Friday that killed five Hamas members and a girl.
As part of the crackdown, Hamas has arrested more than 160 activists from Fatah, the secular faction of Western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.