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Fatah militant killed in West Bank shootout

THE LEVANT- A Palestinian militant was shot dead early Monday in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops in the northern West Bank, witnesses and a Palestinian security source said.

Zacharia Akra, a 24-year-old militant allied to the Fatah movement of president Mahmud Abbas, was killed in a shoot out in Qabalan village some 10 kilometres (six miles) south of Nablus, they said.

In the early hours of Monday morning, soldiers had surrounded the house where Akra was staying with this brother, provoking an exchange of fire in which he was killed, they said.

The Israeli army confirmed the incident saying troops had gone to apprehend a man wanted for questioning in connection with a shooting incident against Israel troops two weeks ago.

“The terrorist barricaded himself in his location despite repeated calls for him to turn himself in. Following gunfire from the suspect, the troops responded with lethal force,” a military spokeswoman said.

During subsequent searches, troops uncovered several “improvised anti-tank missile launchers,” she said.

A 17-year-old Palestinian boy died later Monday in an accidental explosion of a mine left by Israeli troops near Nablus, a Palestinian security official said.

Mohammad Basharat was killed by the leftover mine near Tamun.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said all military training zones were prohibited to members of the public and that she was not aware of the incident.

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