updated 12/13/2007 1:29:38 PM ET 2007-12-13T18:29:38

Israeli aircraft targeted a car in Gaza City after nightfall Thursday, killing three Islamic Jihad militants, a Palestinian hospital official and the Israeli military said.

The car was obliterated by the blast, and rescue workers extracted a dismembered body. Hamas police officers kept people away from the car.

Dr. Moaiya Hassanain of the Palestinian Health Ministry said three people were killed. Islamic Jihad said they were members of the militant group, which has claimed responsibility for many of the almost daily rocket barrages at southern Israel.

The Israeli military said the target was a cell of Palestinian militants that had fired rockets at Israel earlier.

Israel frequently targets suspected Palestinian militants with airstrikes, trying to stop daily barrages of rockets on southern Israel. A few hours before the blast in Gaza, an Israeli woman was seriously wounded in a rocket attack on a border town.

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