Israel hits Hamas sites after balloons sent with 'explosive device'

'No injuries or damage were reported, said a Hamas security source.

Gaza City: Israeli aircraft have struck two Hamas observation points in the Gaza Strip, a security source said Sunday, after the army reported balloons carrying an "explosive device" were sent toward Israel.

No injuries occurred from the strikes late Saturday east of Al-Bureij in the central Gaza Strip and east of Rafah in the south of the blockaded enclave run by Islamist movement Hamas, according to a Hamas security source.

The strikes occurred after a "cluster of balloons carrying an explosive device was launched from the Gaza Strip towards Israeli territory," the Israeli army said in a statement. "No injuries or damage were reported," it said.

Late Wednesday, Israeli aircraft targeted several militant sites in Gaza after an "explosive balloon" launched from the Palestinian enclave damaged a house in Israel. Palestinians in Gaza have for months been sporadically launching balloons with incendiary and explosive devices at southern Israel in parallel with weekly protests and clashes taking place at the fence.

At least 251 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since March 2018, the majority shot during weekly border protests and others hit by tank fire or air strikes in response to violence from Gaza. Two Israeli soldiers have been killed over the same period. Israel and Hamas have fought three wars since 2008.

Qaeda-linked Syria group kills 21 regime forces: monitor

Beirut: A Syrian jihadist group linked to Al-Qaeda killed 21 regime and allied forces on Sunday near Idlib province, in one of the deadliest breaches of a six-month-old truce deal, a monitor said.

"At dawn, 21 fighters from the regime forces or allied militia were killed in an attack by Ansar al-Tawhid jihadists," the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

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