GAZA CITY (AFP) — Militants from a hitherto unknown group linked to Al-Qaeda ransacked a private school in the northern Gaza Strip, its director said Saturday.
A statement signed by the "Army of Believers, Al-Qaeda in Palestine Organisation" was left behind at the American International School after the attack during which five buses and a car were set ablaze, Rabhi Salem said.
"Armed men entered the school in Beit Lahiya during the night and ransacked rooms as well as adminstration offices, and stole several computers," Salem told AFP.
The attack on the school was the second in a week.
On Wednesday armed men fired anti-tank rockets at it, causing serious damage to the building.
"Polytheists and enemies of Islam are pursuing each day their work to destroy our youths, who are falling by the dozens into the swamps of vice and moral decadence," the statement found at the school said.
"That is why we must re-establish the truth and warn everyone who might try to corrupt our youths or try to open such places of corruption," the statement added in apparent reference to the American International School.
Officials in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip have denounced the attacks and said an investigation has been launched.
The school, which was also the target of a bomb attack in April 2007, is the only private school in the Gaza Strip, with an enrolment of 150 students.
It was set up in 2000 by the privately owned Educational Services Overseas Limited, a company owned by Arab-American Walid Abushaqra which runs 10 schools in the region providing a British-American education.
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