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Israeli Troops Kill 2 Palestinians in West Bank Raid

30 September 2005

Israeli soldiers raided a West Bank refugee camp, Friday, sparking a shootout that killed two Palestinian militants and badly wounded another.

An Israeli military spokeswoman says Palestinians fired at troops who entered the Balata refugee camp at Nablus to arrest militants in the pre-dawn operation.

The fighting, part of a week-long Israeli offensive against militants, came a day after Palestinian authorities in the Gaza Strip began enforcing a ban on public displays of weapons in a key step toward imposing order.

Friday's bloodshed came hours after Palestinians finished voting in local elections in the West Bank widely seen as a test of the political clout for the militant group Hamas ahead of a parliamentary ballot in January.

Unofficial results show the ruling Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas won control of at least 61 of the 104 local councils, and Hamas took 28.

Some information for this report provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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