(Adds explosion kills three other militants)
GAZA, March 11 (Reuters) - An Israeli air strike on Tuesday killed three Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, the Islamic Jihad group said.
The Israeli military said its aircraft had targeted Islamic Jihad members after they had fired a mortar bomb at troops. "Direct hits were confirmed," it said.
Islamic Jihad said its men had attacked Israeli soldiers who had entered the Gaza Strip through Israel's border fence.
Earlier, the territory's ruling Hamas Islamist movement said an Israeli drone had crashed on the Gaza side of the frontier. The military said the drone came down because of a technical malfunction.
Hours after the Israeli airstrike, a blast in a second-storey apartment killed three other Gaza militants belonging to a small Jihadi group, local medics and residents said.
The cause of the explosion was not clear, but Hamas said it could have been "an internal" incident, suggesting explosives that were in the house had detonated. The Israeli military said its forces were not involved in the blast.
Israel pulled its troops and settlers out of the Gaza Strip in 2005, but maintains a naval and air blockade of the enclave and severely restricts the overland movement of people and goods across the volatile border. (Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan, Editing by Crispian Balmer)