Hamas arrest head of Al Qaeda-linked group in Gaza

Gaza (ANTARA News/Reuters) - Hamas forces arrested a top commander of an al Qaeda-linked group in Gaza this week, sources close to the enclave`s Islamist rulers said on Friday.

Hesham al-Sa`eedni was arrested on Monday. He is believed to be an Egyptian citizen and a senior member of the Tawheed And Jihad group linked to al Qaeda, the sources said.

Israeli daily Haaretz reported on Thursday that al-Sa`eedni`s group was involved in a series of attacks in Egypt`s Sinai peninsula, among them a 2006 attack on a hotel that killed 19 people.

Hamas, which has in the past denied any al Qaeda presence in Gaza, has been trying to keep other Islamist groups in check following a devastating Israeli military offensive in 2009.

Hamas officials were not immediately available for comment. (*)