Eight Gazans killed in gas explosion after family spat

Children said among the dead, 20 others wounded when gas canister set on fire amid reported squabble over inheritance

In this photo from January 3, 2018, the sun rises over a mosque in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)
In this photo from January 3, 2018, the sun rises over a mosque in Gaza City. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

Eight Palestinians died in an explosion in Gaza City Thursday, in what officials said was an intentional act after a family quarrel.

A spokesman for the Hamas-run health ministry said eight people were killed, including children, and another 20 wounded “in an explosion at a home” in Gaza City.

A police statement said a member of the Abu Assi family deliberately set a gas canister on fire during a family quarrel, leading to the explosion.

It said police were investigating the circumstances of the incident.

Eyewitnesses said the explosion caused serious damage to the two-story building.

An AFP correspondent said police forces of Hamas closed off the nearby area to journalists after the explosion.

The Hamas-run Ministry of the Interior said that the man responsible for the explosion, who was not identified, was among the wounded.

Sources in the Gaza Strip said that a dispute over inheritance had erupted among members of the Abu Assi family. According to the sources, one of the sons of the family had recently threatened to kill his father, who filed a complaint against him with the Hamas police.

A few hours before the explosion, a violent altercation erupted between the main suspect and some of his family members, the sources added. Eyewitnesses said they saw the suspect carrying a number of gas cylinders near the house before the explosion.

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