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Fatah Militants Release Hamas Deputy Mayor, Violence Continues


Palestinian militants loyal to the Fatah party have released the deputy mayor of Nablus, as violence between Palestinian factions continues.

Mahdi al-Khamdali was released two days after he was kidnapped in the West Bank city. He said Monday that he was not harmed by his captors.

Meanwhile, suspected Fatah militants have vandalized several stores in the West Bank city of Ramallah owned by Hamas supporters.

In the neighboring town of al-Bireh, officials say gunmen staged an attack Monday on the Hamas mayor. The attack failed.

Factional fighting between supporters of Fatah and the ruling Hamas group has killed more than 30 people in Gaza in recent weeks. The violence has included kidnappings in both Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

Violence broke out last month after Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, of Fatah, said he would call for early elections.

Fatah and Hamas had been negotiating to form a unity government, but the talks failed.

Last January, Hamas won Palestinian elections for parliament. Hamas now controls the parliament and the cabinet. Fatah has the presidency.

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

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