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Family in agony after baby dies from tear gas

Family in agony after baby dies from tear gas


afp
Gaza City
In her final embrace, Mariam al-Ghandour hugs the tiny body of her daughter Leila tight, tears rolling down her face.
"The Israelis killed her," she sobbed.
The health ministry in Gaza say baby Leila, only eight months old, died after inhaling tear gas along the border with Israel on Monday as major protests escalated into the bloodiest day in years, with at least 60 Palestinians killed.
The family prefers to focus on who fired the gas rather than the series of decisions that led to a baby being a few hundred metres (yards) from the Israeli border during the protests and clashes.
Leila is an outlier -- 13 years younger than any of the other victims and one of only two females.
The vast majority have been killed by live ammunition fired by Israeli snipers but Leila was caught up in a cloud of tear gas, only temporarily painful for adults but potentially more dangerous for infants.
Mariam, herself only 17, explained that she had a dentist appointment"so I left Leila with my brothers at home".
"My little brother took her and went to the border," she said.
At the back of the room, 11-year-old Ammar sobs uncontrollably as he looks at the corpse.
He says he mistakenly thought his sister was at the border with his mother and other family members.
"So I took her with me on the bus."
He added:"I feel I am the reason (for her death)."

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