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Six Palestinians Killed in Clash Between Rival Factions


Six people have been killed in a clash between rival Palestinian factions in the West Bank.

A gun battle erupted in the West Bank town of Qalqilya, when Palestinian police raided a hideout of the Islamic militant group Hamas. Top fugitives in the house hurled grenades and fired assault rifles to try and drive the police back.

Six people were killed: two armed Hamas militants and a civilian supporter, and three policemen loyal to western-backed Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. It was the deadliest infighting in the West Bank since Hamas seized control of the Gaza Strip two years ago and drove out the Fatah forces of Mr. Abbas.

Hamas accused Mr. Abbas, who heads a moderate government in the West Bank, of collaborating with Israel.

Last week, Mr. Abbas met with U.S. President Barack Obama at the White House, and vowed to rein in militants who oppose the peace process.

The raid was coordinated with Israel because both sides have a mutual interest: preventing a Hamas takeover of the West Bank.


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