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3 Palestinian Militants Killed in West Bank Clash with Israeli Troops

Palestinian security officials say a clash between Israeli troops and Palestinian militants near the West Bank town of Jenin has left three militants dead.

The officials identified the victims as a local leader of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades and two members of Islamic Jihad.

They say the fighting erupted when Israeli troops raided Jenin early Thursday morning.

Wednesday, Israel's military warned it may bombard the Gaza Strip town of Beit Hanoun, if necessary, to stop Palestinian rocket fire into Israel.

The militants have been firing rockets from the area, despite earlier pledges to stop such attacks.

In Washington, a State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice has been pressing both sides to end the violence.

President Bush is to meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the White House next month for talks on peace efforts.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.