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Gaza vandals tear up UN summer camp

Palestinian employees of the UN relief agency inspected the damage at the camp, which serves about 2,000 children. Palestinian employees of the UN relief agency inspected the damage at the camp, which serves about 2,000 children. (Adel Hana/Associated Press)
By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 29, 2010

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GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip — Two dozen masked men vandalized a UN summer camp for children in Gaza early yesterday, burning and slashing tents, toys, and a plastic swimming pool. It was the second such attack in just over a month.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the attack, which took place before dawn when no children were present.

Islamic extremists have accused the main UN aid agency here of corrupting Gaza’s youth with its summer program of games, sports, and human rights lessons for 250,000 children.

The United Nations’s main competitor in running summer camps is the ruling Islamic militant Hamas, which says it reaches 100,000 children. The Hamas camps teach Islam, military-style marching and swimming and horseback riding.

In a statement about the attack, the United Nations said that about two dozen armed and masked men targeted a seaside day camp in central Gaza, one of dozens of UN sites across the Palestinian territory.

Hamas condemned the attack in a statement by the Gaza police and said it would be investigated.

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