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West Bank explosion kills two children

An abandoned Israeli mortar exploded in the West Bank and killed two Palestinian children.

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An Israeli soldier fires his weapon at Palestinian youths during clashes following a protest against Israel's controversial separation barrier in Qalandia, near the West Bank city of Ramallah, on Dec. 30, 2011. (Abbas Momani/AFP/Getty Images)

Two Palestinian children were killed when an old mortar exploded in the West Bank, Palestinian authorities told Reuters. A group of boys had been playing with scrap metal in the village of Sier before the blast. Afterward, they were rushed to the hospital in Hebron, where two of the boys, both 12, were pronounced dead, Israel News reported

The unexploded mortar has been dropped by Israeli forces, Palestinian authorities said. An Israeli military spokesman told Reuters that the blast was caused by an "unexploded ordnance that was ignited." The Israeli military said it is still investigating the blast.

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Five others were injured in the explosion, the International Middle East Media Center reported.

A similar accident happened last week in Cambodia. Children in Phnom Penh had been playing with old mortar shells when one exploded, injuring 11, the Associated Press reported. The shells had been dropped in the 1990s. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/israel-and-palestine/120306/west-bank-explosion-kills-two-children