Radig 2 Members Shaken By Bomb Blast In Gaza

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 19 (Bernama) — Members of the Ramadan delegation (Radig 2) under the auspices of the Malaysian Islamic Organisations Consultative Council (Mapim) were startled by a loud explosion which shook the hotel they were staying at in the heart of Gaza city at about 1am local time.

Panic gripped the hotel where guests and Radiq 2 members were either in their rooms or surfing internet in the foyer when the incident occurred.

Mapim secretary-general Mohd Azmi Abdul Hamid said the towering bomb blast lit up the night sky and sent smoke billowing, which could be seen from the hotel before ambulance and fire engines sirens were heard.

Radig 2 members were later informed via an e-mail that the explosion was from an Israeli air strike, he said in an e-mail to Bernama.

Mohd Azmi, who is also Radig 2 chief of mission, told said all Radig members, including national astronaut Datuk Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who were in Gaza since Aug 17 were safe.

As a precautionary measure, the RADIG 2 secretariat held an emergency briefing to explain the actual situation and security measures and vigilance that needed to be observed to avoid any untoward incidents, said Mohd Azmi.

He also hoped members of Radig 2 families and relatives to be calm and patient and pray for their safety.

The delegation was scheduled to open the An-Nasr Mosque, which was rebuilt from funds collected by Mapim, in Beit Hanoun, northern Gaza, one km from the Gaza-Israel border, yesterday.

Mohd Azmi said, however, Radig 2 was still awaiting instruction from Gaza authorities before going ahead with the event.

Among the highlights of events yesterday was the signing of a memorandum of understanding between Mapim and the Gaza Health Ministry on the construction of a children and maternity hospital in Gaza when the delegation made a courtesy call on Gaza Health Minister Dr Basem N. Naim.

The delegation also held discussions with the Gaza Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health and Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports.

Radig 2 members yesterday broke their fast with winners of the Quran memorisation and interpretation competition officiated by Gaza Prime Minister Ismail Abdul Salam Hanneiy before performing the tarawih prayer led by Islami at a mosque in the oldest Gaza refugee camp.




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