Blast kills at least 4, injures 30 near Rafah in Gaza

Cause remains unclear, although reports say it may have been unexploded ordnance

Illustrative image of an explosion in the Gaza Strip on August 6, 2015 (screen capture: Ebrahim Jihad Yousif/Facebook)
Illustrative image of an explosion in the Gaza Strip on August 6, 2015 (screen capture: Ebrahim Jihad Yousif/Facebook)

An explosion tore through a house in the Gaza Strip Thursday, killing at least 4 and injuring at least 30, according to a Hamas government spokesman.

The cause of the blast wasn’t immediately clear, but unconfirmed reports suggested it was unexploded ordnance from the war in Gaza last summer.

Officials in the Palestinian territory said an investigation was underway to determine the cause.

Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra says the ordnance exploded as Palestinian workers were helping family members remove rubble from a house destroyed in the 50-day war between Israel and the Hamas militants who rule the coastal territory.

The ordnance is believed to have been dropped in an airstrike on the house during the war.

Last year, six people, including an Associated Press video journalist and his Palestinian translator, were killed as Gaza police engineers tried to defuse unexploded Israeli ordnance. Three people, including an AP photographer, were badly injured.

The Palestinian Ma’an news agency named the four killed as Bakr Hasan Abu Naqira, Abdul-Rahman Abu Naqira, Ahmad Hasan Abu Naquira, and Hassan Ahmad Abu Naqira, all members of the same family.

The Gaza Strip, ruled by Islamist movement Hamas, has seen three wars with Israel in the last six years.

AP, APF contributed to this report.

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