Israel confirms at least 10 activists killed in Gaza flotilla clash

16:22, May 31, 2010      

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Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have confirmed that more than 10 peace activists of the Gaza-bound aid flotilla were killed during clash with Israeli navy troops early Monday morning.

Four Israeli soldiers were also injured in this deadly showdown between the Jewish state and pro-Palestinian campaigners, IDF said.

"According to initial reports, these events resulted in over ten deaths among the demonstrators and numerous injured," Israel Defense Forces said in a statement.

Four soldiers were wounded, added IDF, saying that they were attacked by the activists on board. Two of the them are moderately injured and the others sustained light injuries.

"Demonstrators onboard attacked the IDF naval personnel with live fire and light weaponry," said Israeli army spokesman's office, "additionally one of the weapons used was grabbed from an IDF soldier."

This is strongly rejected by the Gaza aid activists. "There was no fire from our side," the group said in a twitter message, one of the channels it employed to bring attention to the campaign.

The ships are now being directed by Israeli warships to southern Israel's Ashdod port.

The pro-Gaza "Freedom Flotilla" set sail on Sunday from the Mediterranean international waters near Cyprus and headed to the besieged territory amid tension due to Israel's threats to block the convoy.

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