Archive for Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hamas clamps down on Fatah supporters

August 25, 2007

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— Hamas security agents clashed with supporters of the rival Fatah movement Friday, firing into the air and beating journalists covering a demonstration against the Islamic militant group's rule in the Gaza Strip.

It was the second time in recent weeks that Hamas has scuffled with Fatah protesters, a signal of possible cracks in the Islamic group's two-month-old takeover of Gaza. Harassment of journalists and political opponents has grown increasingly common in the coastal strip.

The demonstrators gathered after weekly Muslim prayers in an open square in Gaza City, organized by Fatah activists who say they have not been welcome in mosques since the Hamas takeover.

The protesters threw stones and bottles at a former Fatah security compound now used as headquarters of the Hamas paramilitary police. Hamas men fired guns over the heads of hundreds of demonstrators.

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