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Palestinian President Says Talks With Hamas Have Broken Down


Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says talks between his Fatah party and the ruling militant group Hamas on forming a coalition government have broken down.

Mr. Abbas made the comment Wednesday in Ramallah before a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.

Mr. Abbas' Fatah faction has been locked in a power struggle with Hamas - even as the two sides tried to form a unity government. Fighting between the sides has claimed 12 lives since Sunday.

In other news, Palestinian officials say unidentified gunmen killed a local Hamas leader, Mohammed Odde, as he left a mosque in a West Bank village.

On Tuesday, a militant faction linked to Fatah threatened to kill several Hamas leaders as part of the escalating power struggle.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades warned in a leaflet that it will target exiled Hamas political leader Khaled Mashaal and two senior officials in the Palestinian interior ministry.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and Reuters.

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