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Early Palestinian Election Results Show Fatah Leading Hamas

30 September 2005

Preliminary Palestinian election results indicate President Mahmoud Abbas' ruling Fatah movement has won more than half the votes cast in Thursday's West Bank municipal elections.

Election officials gave varying results Friday, but all showed a clear Fatah victory. The militant group Hamas, which was expected to have a strong showing, garnered just over 20 percent of the votes.

Election turnout was strong, with over 80 percent of eligible voters choosing local councils in 104 West Bank towns and villages.

Hamas downplayed its poor showing, saying many of its candidates were arrested in a week of Israeli raids and airstrikes preceding the vote.

Friday, Israeli troops killed two militants from the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades during a raid for wanted Palestinians in Balata refugee camp, in Nablus. Israeli troops also killed a 13-year-old boy during an incident at Askar camp.

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

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