Two Palestinian policemen and two gunmen were killed in a shootout in the West Bank town of Nablus. The two men were sought by police for weapons' possession and other offenses when the gun battle broke out.
Palestinian police spokesman Adnan Dmairi said the gunmen shot and killed two officers and wounded two others Thursday evening. Three more security officers were injured in the gunfight that broke out during the initial arrest attempt.
The security forces responded by sending reinforcements to the city. The subsequent chase to catch the killers ended early Friday in a shootout in Nablus, he said. One more officer was injured, and several weapons were also seized, he added.
Dmairi said Palestinian police were "determined to uproot the crime and lawlessness from our society."
A wave of gun violence
Two more police officers were killed in Nablus last month in a similar incident, which some say illustrates a growing lawlessness in the West Bank. Palestinian security forces have struggled to crack down on widespread illegal gun possession in the territory.
Palestinian police have arrested more than 100 suspects in the Israeli-occupied territory during the past two months, in a ramped-up effort to crack down on crime, Dmairi said.
Despite the multiple clashes several other suspects are still being sought, according to Dmairi.
While Israel has overall security control, Abbas and his PA have limited control in some parts of the West Bank territory, which the Palestinians hope will be part of a future state along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem.
bik/sms (Reuters, AP, dpa)