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Six killed in clash with police in West Bank


Ramallah : At least six people were killed Sunday during a shootout between an armed group and the Palestinian security forces in the northern West Bank city of Qalqilya, the police said.

Three of the dead were members of the security forces, two were gunmen and the sixth was owner of the building where the fighting took place, according Adnan Dmeiri, a spokesman for the security forces.

He said the police surrounded a building in the city and called on the men inside, believed to be members of the armed wing of the Islamic movement Hamas, to surrender.

The gunmen refused and the shootout lasted most of the night and through the early morning hours before police stormed the building, Dmeiri said.

Police imposed a curfew on the city and ordered people to stay home as the sound of gunfire was heard throughout the city.

The Palestinian Authority banned the armed wing of Hamas two years ago and has occasionally arrested its members.