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Three Killed In Southern Gaza Terrorist Infiltration

A day after two Israeli policemen were murdered in an Arab suicide terrorist bombing, attackers of the same breed opened fire on an IDF position in southern Gaza - killing three soldiers.
First Publish: 9/23/2004, 3:11 PM / Last Update: 9/23/2004, 9:22 AM

A day after two Israeli policemen were murdered in an Arab suicide terrorist bombing in Jerusalem, attackers of the same breed opened fire on an IDF position in southern Gaza - killing three soldiers and wounding a fourth. Two terrorists were killed in the battle, and a third apparently escaped and was pursued.

The names of the fallen IDF soldiers are: Captain Tal Bardugo, 22, from Jerusalem; St.-Sergeant Nir Sami, 21, from Jerusalem; and St.-Sgt. Yisrael Lutati, 20, from N'vei Dekalim. St.-Sgt. Lutati will be laid to rest today at 15:30 in the Gush Katif Cemetery; Captain Bardugo and St.-Sgt. Sami will be laid to rest this evening in Jerusalem's Mount Herzl Military Cemetery.

Also injured in the attack was one of a group of journalists who came to Morag to cover the developing events. The reporters became part of the story, however, when the third terrorist, who lay in hiding, shot at the group, hitting one of them in the thigh.

Under the cover of the early morning fog, the three heavily-armed Arabs crept towards the slightly set back community of Morag, and opened fire on the soldiers in the nearby post. The forces in the area are generally on high alert, but because of the fog, the terrorists were able to surprise them. Israeli forces in the area reacted quickly, killed two enemy gunmen, and pursued the third. Residents of Morag were instructed to remain indoors until the manhunt ended.

The terrorists apparently came from the PA-controlled city of Rafiach and made their way undetected through the hothouse areas of Morag up to the well-protected outpost.

Three different terrorist organizations claimed responsibility for the attack. National Religious Party leader MK Effie Eitam said, "Since Prime Minister Sharon is so determined to run wildly towards his retreat plan for Gaza, the terrorists are left with nothing to do other than to perpetrate attacks and compete with each other for the 'credit' for having thrown us out."

An attempted terrorist infiltration into Kibbutz Erez, just north of Gaza, was thwarted yesterday. Israeli soldiers, detecting the terrorist in time, shot and killed him. Aside his body, the forces found two large explosive packages of 40 kilograms (88 lbs.) each.