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AP cameraman among 5 killed in Gaza blast

13 August 2014, 15:50

Gaza - An Italian cameraman working for international news agency Associated Press was among at least five people killed in northern Gaza on Wednesday as sappers were dismantling an Israeli missile.

A spokesman for Gaza's interior ministry said all five had been killed in a blast which occurred as explosives experts were trying to dismantle an Israeli missile in Beit Lahiya.

Another six people were seriously wounded, an emergency services spokesman said.

The AP confirmed that one of its journalists had been killed, identifying him as Simone Camilli, a 35-year-old Italian who had worked for The Associated Press since 2005.

AP photographer Hatem Moussa was also badly wounded in the explosion, the agency said.

Camilli is the first foreign journalist to be killed in more than a month of bloodshed between Israel and Hamas militants which began on July 8.

He was at the scene with the photographer to cover the story of bomb experts dismantling unexploded ordnance, the AP said.

In a side room at the Kamal Adwan hospital, male relatives could be seen weeping and praying together, some people too shocked to talk.

In Rome, Italian Foreign Minister Federica Mogherini issued a statement expressing sorrow at Camilli's death.

"Simone Camilli's death is a tragedy for his family and for the country. Once more a reporter pays the price for a war that has lasted too many years," she said.

The blast occurred as Israel and Hamas militants were observing a 72-hour truce which expires at midnight local time as negotiators in Cairo tried to thrash out a more permanent ceasefire arrangement.

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