Explosion in southern Israel: 2 people killed

Two people were killed in an explosion near an agricultural community in southern Israel on Tuesday, medical officials said, casting a pall over nationwide elections.

Israel's national rescue service said an adult and child were killed in the blast, which occurred near the border community of Nahal Oz. Rescue officials said the explosion was caused either by a Palestinian rocket attack or stray ordnance along the border area with the Gaza Strip.

Officials initially said the pair, apparently Arab shepherds in a field, were killed in a rocket attack.

A deadly Palestinian attack could disrupt the election. Hawkish parties have criticized front-runner Ehud Olmert's plan to withdraw unilaterally from much of the West Bank, saying it would invite Palestinian violence.

Olmert's opponents have pointed to the frequent rocket attacks that have continued out of Gaza since Israel withdrew from the area last summer.

The army said a total of four rockets were fired into Israel on Tuesday, reports the AP.

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