(Reuters) – A total of nine pro-Palestinian activists were killed aboard a Gaza-bound aid ship that was raided by Israeli naval commandos on Monday, the Israeli military said in a statement. A military spokeswoman said the statement reflected the final death toll for the day after the ship was brought to the Israeli port city of Ashdod. Earlier, senior Israeli officials had put the number of those killed at ten, or even higher.
Israel, which leads a blockade on the Gaza Strip, intercepted the convoy of six ships carrying 700 people and 10,000 tons of supplies to prevent it from reaching the shores of the Hamas-ruled territory.
The military said that violence erupted on one of the ships after the activists attacked the marines, wounding seven and stealing two of their weapons.
Israeli officials have said about 20 activists were injured.
The military did not give the nationality of any of the casualties, but a senior Israeli official said most of the dead were Turks.
(Writing by Ari Rabinovitch; Editing by Louise Ireland)