'Militant leader' killed in Nablus gunfight

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The Independent Online

Five Palestinian fugitives, including a militant leader, were killed today during a fierce gunbattle with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

Five Palestinian fugitives, including a militant leader, were killed today during a fierce gunbattle with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.

The army surrounded a building where wanted militants were holed up, and a gun battle erupted, Palestinian witnesses said.

Palestinian security officials said five militants from the Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades were killed, and a sixth man was injured.

The dead included Nader Aswad, a local leader who was on Israel's most-wanted list. Al Aqsa is a violent group loosely linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement.

Basma Masri, a Nablus resident, said she spoke to her son, who was one of the armed men in the house, during the exchange of fire. Masri said her son told her that he and his five friends had run out of ammunition.

Military sources said that five wanted Palestinians were killed, but gave no further details.

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