Three Palestinian militants from the Islamic Jihad group were killed on Tuesday in an Israeli airstrike in the southern Gaza Strip, medical officials said.

The Israeli military in Tel Aviv confirmed it had launched an airstrike targeting Islamic Jihad members.

The militant group said three of its members were killed in the airstrike after they had fired mortar bombs at Israeli troops.

Ashraf al-Qedra, Gaza emergency spokesman in the Hamas-run Ministry of Health, told reporters that the three people killed were aged 23, 24 and 33.

The militants are said to have fired the mortars while trying to give cover to Hamas fighters who were attempting to recover an Israeli drone which crashed in the area after suffering a technical failure.

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