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Israeli police kill armed woman and two gunmen

Palestinian woman fires at Israeli forces in a rare incident

Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian woman who fired at a police base in southern Israel Saturday, and also killed two militants in a separate incident in the Gaza Strip, medics and Israeli security official said.

In what was described as a rare incident in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict a woman opened fire at a guardpost at the Shoket Junction in southern Israel and was gunned down by police immediately, the Israeli official said.

The woman was armed with a pistol and a bomb that police were defusing, the official added. There were no Israeli casualties.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the incident nor was it clear whether the woman was an Israeli Arab citizen, most of whom are of Palestinian origin, or a Palestinian from the Occupied Territories.

Israeli police set up roadblocks on highways to block traffic in the area and are searching for further suspects.

In a separate incident earlier on Saturday, Palestinian medics recovered the bodies of two gunmen in Khan Yunis who killed by Israeli troops near the Gaza border. The men were identified as 23-year-old Muhammad Al-Hamayda and 26-year-old Jamil Quffa, Maan Agency reported.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said troops shot at several gunmen in northern Gaza and hit two of them. One of the slain gunmen belonged to Islamic Jihad and another to a renegade militant group called the Popular Resistance Committees, members of both groups said.

However eyewitnesses said Israeli forces were firing shells and heavy gunfire as clashes continued in the morning.

The Gaza border has seen sporadic Israeli-Palestinian violence despite a mid-January ceasefire achieved after a three-week Israeli assault on the coastal Strip which killed over 1400 many of whom were civilians.