Report: Gun battle outside West Bank church

September 23, 2006 02:20

Report: Gun battle outside West Bank church

Gun battle between Palestinian police and assailants outside West Bank church: witnesses Palestinian police guarding a West Bank church exchanged fire with assailants and chased them away early Saturday, witnesses said. Churches in the West Bank and Gaza have been attacked by firebombs and gunfire in recent days, as part of a Muslim uproar over remarks by Pope Benedict XVI last week, seen as insulting to Islam. Shortly after midnight, the sound of heavy gun fire was heard outside the Roman Catholic Church in the West Bank city of Nablus. Resident Abdel Salam Abu Rob said police guarding the church were exchanging fire with wouldbe assailants. Police guards were posted at churches in the West Bank and Gaza last weekend, after a first spate of attacks. Residents said they heard intensive fire for about 20 minutes. There were no immediate reports of injuries or damage to the church.

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