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Tuesday, November 6, 2007       Free Headline Alerts

Al Qaida bombs hit Gaza cell phone stores, beauty salons

GAZA CITY Al Qaida elements aligned with the opposition Fatah movement have renewed their bombing campaign in the Gaza Strip.

Al Qaida-aligned groups have claimed responsibility for 70 bombings of Internet cafes, cellphone stores and other symbols of modernization in 2006 and early 2007. The campaign was disrupted by the Hamas takeover of the Gaza Strip in June 2007.

After a lull of several months, Palestinian sources said, Al Qaida has resumed bombings of Internet cafes and cellular phone stores. They said the campaign was being conducted with the help of the opposition Fatah movement.

"The aim is to destabilize the Hamas regime," a security source said.

On Monday, an explosion ripped through a restaurant in Gaza City. The bomb was placed in the front of the restaurant before opening and nobody was injured.

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The sources said the restaurant was used by university students in Gaza City. The restaurant and nearby buildings were damaged.

But over the last month, the sources said, the bombing campaign has resumed. The latest targets have included Internet cafes, beauty salons and tobacco stores.

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