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Gunmen burn UN summer camp for children in Gaza

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In a predawn raid Sunday, around 30 unknown gunmen broke into and set fire to a childrens' summer camp run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip.

Gaza (dpa) May 23, 2010 -- In a predawn raid Sunday, around 30 unknown gunmen broke into and set fire to a childrens' summer camp run by the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) in the Gaza Strip.

The camp is one of 35 being constructed in the salient, to form part of UNRWA's annual "Summer Games" program for over 250,000 refugee children in Gaza, UNRWA said.

When breaking into the site, the gunmen attacked the guards, and when they left, the handed the guards a letter, with four bullets attached, addressed to UNRWA Gaza operations head John Ging.

Ging told a new conference that despite the attack, "UNRWA will keep offering the support needed by the children of Gaza, who live under physical and psychological stress."

Ging called the arson "vandalism linked to extremism and an attack on the happiness of children."

There was no claim of responsibility for the attack.

However, the department of Palestinian refugees' rights, run by the Hamas movement which administers the Strip, accused UNRWA of "culturally invading the minds of Palestinian children" in order to "tear and scatter their beliefs through forgiveness, coexistence and forgetting the past."

Copyright: dpa

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