6 killed at Gaza checkpoint

3 militant groups claim responsibility for Gaza checkpoint attack that leaves 6 Palestinians dead

Three militant groups have claimed responsibility for a co-ordinated attack that left six Palestinians dead at a crossing between Gaza and Israel.

The Israeli military said the assault began when a vehicle exploded outside a Palestinian police post near the Erez checkpoint, killing the driver and two officers.

The violence continued when gunmen driving two vehicles disguised as Israeli army jeeps stopped near a gate. Israeli soldiers killed three Palestinians after they jumped from the vehicles and opened fire.

More than a dozen Palestinians were injured in the explosion and firefight.

The militant groups Hamas, Islamic Jihad and Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for the attack, calling it a "self-sacrifice operation" in a message on the Hamas website.

Israel has tightened security along its border with Gaza during the Purim festival, which ends on Monday.

The Erez Crossing has been attacked several times during more than three years of fighting.