Guerrillas killed in Jordan Valley

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The Independent Online
MEHOLA, WEST BANK (Reuter) - Israeli soldiers shot dead three guerrillas carrying rifles and Korans who crossed from Jordan to the Israeli-occupied West Bank yesterday. Two soldiers were wounded in the clash, the first fatal cross-border attack since Yitzhak Rabin became Prime Minister last month, the army said. The clash took place midway between two Jewish settlements in the sparsely-populated Jordan Valley.

Mr Rabin said last week that Arab guerrillas opposed to Middle East peace talks might escalate attacks before the negotiations resume in Washington on 24 August.

The West Bank army commander, Major-General Danny Yatom, said the guerrillas could be linked to the fundamentalist Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement) group. 'I believe they were in an organisation connected to Hamas,' he said. 'Maybe there's some sort of connection (with the peace process) but for us as soldiers it does not matter.' Israel and Jordan are officially at war but tacitly co-operate on border security. Israeli army officers estimate that Jordanian forces stop five out of six infiltration attempts.