( Reuters ) - Israeli troops killed two Palestinians and wounded several others on Wednesday during a raid in the northern Gaza Strip, local residents and ambulance workers said.
Hamas and the Popular Resistance Committees said their fighters confronted the Israelis in the Gaza town of Beit Lahiya, an area used by militants as a launching ground for rocket attacks on southern Israel.
Residents and ambulance workers said the soldiers killed two Palestinians, whose identities were not immediately known, and wounded at least four other people.
"Forces are operating in the northern strip against terror infrastructure," an Israeli army spokesman said in Tel Aviv.
"Troops identified two armed men and shot both of them, but cannot confirm they are dead. An anti-tank missile was also fired at the (Israeli) force," the spokesman said.
The Gaza Strip has been under the control of Hamas Islamists since they routed fighters from President Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah faction in a brief civil war in June.