Hatem Moussa  /  AP
Angry Palestinians gather around a car in Gaza on Saturday after it was struck by an Israeli missile.
updated 2/28/2004 2:13:42 PM ET 2004-02-28T19:13:42

An Israeli helicopter fired missiles at a car in the Gaza Strip on Saturday, killing three people — including an Islamic Jihad militant — and wounding 15 others, doctors said.

One of the dead was identified by his family as Islamic Jihad militant Ayman Dahdouh. The other two victims were not immediately identified.

The two missiles targeted a small gray Subaru traveling on a road linking Gaza City with the Jebaliya refugee camp. A thunderous explosion was heard along with the chops of helicopter blades.

Ambulances raced to the scene as a warplane flew overhead, firing flares.

The car was pulverized, and Palestinian security officials strained to keep order around the scene as surging crowds jumped on the wreckage and called for revenge.

The airstrike was carried out in a densely populated residential area, and three children were among the wounded, said doctors at Gaza’s Shifa Hospital. One girl was in critical condition and another boy was seen bleeding from his head.

One of the wounded told The Associated Press from the hospital that a helicopter fired at least two missiles at the vehicle.

Hundreds of people gathered at the hospital to check on the conditions and identities of the casualties. Some gunmen at the morgue were crying.

An Israeli military spokesman said he was checking the report of the airstrike.

Israel has frequently sent helicopter gunships and warplanes to kill Palestinian militants in targeted missile strikes during more than three years of fighting.

The last such strike was Feb. 7, when an attack helicopter fired a missile that shattered a car, killing an Islamic Jihad leader in the vehicle and a 12-year-old boy on his way to school.

© 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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