February 29, 2008 / 9:57 PM / 12 years ago

Gaza child, bombmaker die in Gaza missile strikes

Palestinians shout slogans during a demonstration in support of Gaza in front of the Dome of the Rock on the compound known to Muslims as al-Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews as Temple Mount, after Friday prayers in Jerusalem's Old City February 29, 2008. REUTERS/Mahfouz Abu Turk

GAZA (Reuters) - A year-old Palestinian girl and a senior munitions expert for the Hamas Islamist movement were killed in separate missile strikes in the Gaza Strip on Friday, medical officials and Hamas sources said.

The militant, Eyad al-Ashram, died when an Israeli missile struck open ground after dark in the north of the territory, where 35 Palestinians have now been killed since Wednesday.

The Israel army confirmed it had targeted the area.

One-year-old Malak al-Kafarna died of a shrapnel wound to the head some hours after a missile landed near her home in Beit Hanoun, also in the north, Raed al-Arini, a doctor at Shifa hospital said. She was the second infant killed this week.

Hamas officials described the explosion, in which four other civilians were also wounded, as being caused by an Israeli surface-to-surface missile. Some residents in the area have also reported that improvised rockets fired by militants at Israel have fallen short and landed inside Palestinian territory.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi, writing by Alastair Macdonald

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