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Gunfight in Gaza Palestinian Police Headquarters Leaves One Dead, 10 Wounded

Palestinian gunmen stormed the police headquarters in Gaza on Thursday, in an apparent assassination attempt on the area's police chief, Ghazi al-Jabali. At least one officer was killed and 10 more wounded after the gunmen opened fire inside the complex.

The Palestinian police in Gaza issued a statement Thursday saying that what they called a "group of outlaws" had attempted to assassinate the head and founder of the Palestinian police in Gaza.

The chief General Ghazi al-Jabali "escaped from this cowardly assassination attempt", the statement said.

His whereabouts in the immediate aftermath of the attack are not known.

The statement added that the group of attackers "does not want safety or peace for the people of Palestine".

The police statement gave no motive for the shooting but armed gangs of Palestinian militants are known to roam Gaza and the West Bank.

These groups are sometimes in conflict with the security forces loyal to the Palestinian Authority.

Some of the gangs on occasion have also taken to fighting one another for control of illegally traded goods.

Palestinian officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, say that many of these groups are made up of ex-members of the Palestinian police and security services.

The power of these armed gangs has grown in tandem with the decline in status of the Palestinian Authority, after more than three years of a Palestinian uprising against Israel.

Meanwhile, at least three other Palestinians were reported killed in the Gaza Strip on Thursday in separate incidents.

One of the three was a member of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, an armed wing of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction.

He was killed after his comrades accidentally shot him in an attempted ambush of Israeli soldiers.

In the other incidents, Israeli troops shot and killed a Palestinian youth close to a Jewish settlement and a Palestinian militant who had hurled a hand-grenade at them in the southern part of the Gaza Strip.