Gunbattle near Abbas' Gaza residence wounds nine

December 2, 2006 19:51


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Hundreds of Palestinian police engaged in a roving gunbattle Saturday with a well-armed Palestinian clan in the streets of Gaza City near President Mahmoud Abbas' official residence, security officials said. Nine people were wounding in the fighting. The fighting started about 3 p.m., when police tried to arrest several members of the Abu Amra family in connection with drug and weapons smuggling and charges of stealing government land. Members of the family, which live in large, Bedouin-style tents on government land near Abbas' residence, responded with a major counterattack, using assault rifles, and rocket propelled grenades to try to drive off the police, security officials said. Police, some of them masked, took over five rooftops during the running street battles that lasted for hours and left seven police and two members of the family wounded.

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