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September 26, 2002

Police: Strike Killed Hamas Leader

JERUSALEM –– The chief Hamas bombmaker, Mohammed Deif, who has topped Israel's wanted list for years, was killed in an Israeli air strike Thursday, Israeli sources and TV reports said. Hamas insisted Deif was alive.

An Israeli government spokesman, Daniel Seaman, confirmed that Deif was the target of Thursday's air strike, but said he did not know whether Deif was killed.

Several Israeli police officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, said they had been informed by the Israeli military that Deif was killed.

In Gaza City, a Hamas leader, Abdel Aziz Rantisi, said Deif, who escaped an Israeli attack earlier this year, had again survived. "The Zionists failed again in killing Deif," he said.

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