Middle East

Israeli troops fatally shoot three Palestinians in Gaza

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Israeli soldiers have shot dead three Palestinian men in the northern Gaza Strip.

The Israeli army said its soldiers had opened fire after the men were spotted planting explosives in a no-go zone along the border overnight.

But relatives of the men, who were all in their 20s, say they were unarmed civilians out gathering sea shells.

None of the militant groups in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip has so far said the men were members.

Israel maintains a buffer zone along the border fence, where Gaza militants have planted bombs and explosives targeting Israeli troops in the past.

Israel often opens fire on people who "got too close to the fence" to stop attacks by militants, BBC Gaza correspondent Jon Donnison says.

More than 50 Palestinians, including 12 civilians, were killed by Israeli troops near the border in 2010, the UN says.