Two Sderot Residents Lightly Hurt in Fresh Qassam Barrage

Farmer sustains minor shrapnel wounds while working in kibbutz fields; rockets cause damage, no injuries.

Two Israeli civilians were lightly wounded Wednesday evening as Palestinian militants fired a fresh barrage of Qassam rockets at the western Negev town of Sderot.

Both of the victims suffered minor shrapnel wounds, and seven others were treated for shock. Militants fired six rockets, most of which struck open areas.

Earlier, nine Qassam rockets hit the western Negev, two of them striking a kibbutz in Sha'ar Hanegev regional council.

One of the rockets struck directly into the yard of a house on the kibbutz. There were no injuries reported in either incident, but the rockets caused damage to some nearby structures.

On Wednesday morning, an Israeli man was lightly wounded when Palestinian militants opened fire on the fields of a kibbutz near the Gaza Strip border.

The man sustained minor wounds near the eye while working in the farmlands of Kibbutz Ein Hashlosha, after one of the bullets struck a water tank, causing shrapnel to spray.

Gunfire on the fields of Ein Hashlosha has become a regular occurrence of late, though casualties are rarely reported.

Some two months ago, a 20-year-old Ecuadorian kibbutz volunteer, Carlos Chavez, was killed when shot in the back by a Palestinian sniper.

Also on Wednesday, Palestinian rescue crews dug up the bodies of two smugglers killed in a tunnel that collapse in the southern Gaza Strip.

It took rescuers six days to reach the bodies. They said a lack of equipment and a strong smell in the tunnel hampered their efforts.

Palestinians use a network of tunnels along the Egyptian border to smuggle weapons, cigarettes and other items into Gaza. The tunnels are built into the sand and sometimes collapse.