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Two Palestinian teens shot dead in Nablus camp raid
Updated: 2006-02-20 11:34

Two Palestinian teenagers have been shot dead during a massive army raid on the Balata refugee camp near the northern West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian medical sources said.

Two Palestinian teens shot dead in Nablus camp raid
Palestinian youth runs after lobbing stones at Israeli troops during clashes triggered by a search operation for militants and weapons in the Balata refugee camp. Two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead during the massive army raid on the camp near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.[AFP]

The two youngsters, identified as Ibrahim al-Sheikh Ali and Mohammed Natour, both of them aged 17, died after being hit in the neck by live bullets, they said.

Earlier Sunday, another two stonethrowers were lightly injured when troops opened fire towards them with rubber bullets during a massive army operation which began before dawn, medical and security sources said.

A third man, said to be a civilian, was hit in the leg by live bullets and was being evacuated in an ambulance when troops moved in to arrest him, they added.

Security officials said around 50 jeeps and two bulldozers backed by two helicopters converged on the camp at around 2:00 am (0000 GMT), sealing off all the major entrances.

A curfew was imposed and troops began conducting house-to-house searches.

Aside from the injured man, another three Palestinians were also arrested, including a local leader of the radical Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades called Ahmed Abu Ras.

Following Abu Ras' arrest, a bulldozer partially destroyed the house where he had been caught.

The bloodshed came just hours after two Palestinian militants were killed in an Israeli air raid on the Gaza Strip.

The lastest violence raised the overall toll since the September 2000 start of the Palestinian uprising to 4,959, according to an AFP count. The majority have been Palestinian

A spokeswoman for the pro-Palestinian International Solidarity Movement (ISM) they had seen troops taking over a United Nations girls' school inside the camp.

"They entered the school with electricity generators, water and tents," Netta Golan told AFP.

The Israeli army confirmed that an "ongoing arrest operation" was underway, but said only one person had been arrested so far.

The spokesman had no immediate information about the fatal shootings.

"Massive riots have broken out in the area, with Palestinians throwing stones and Molotov cocktails. Troops have responded with rubber bullets, smoke grenades and other riot-control methods," he said.

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