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2 confirmed dead in Silwan shooting

Sept. 22, 2010 12:13 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 22, 2010 5:06 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Officials in Israel confirmed reports Wednesday that two Palestinians were killed after an Israeli settler guard opened fire in a flashpoint neighborhood of occupied East Jerusalem.

Officials at the Abu Kabeir forensic center said their teams received two corpses, but they have yet to identify the second Palestinian killed in the shooting in Silwan.

Shortly after the incident, Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian residents who were demonstrating against the killing of Samer Sarhan, 28, and the injury of three others earlier Wednesday morning.

Director of the Wad Hilwa Information Center Jawwad Siyam said an Israeli security guard opened fire at the four men, who were driving through the area at 5 a.m., chasing them down an alley. One of the injured remains in critical condition, the director said.

Israel National Police spokeswoman Loba Samri told reporters at the scene that Sarhan was known for participating in protests and demonstrators, offering a different account of the events leading to his death.

Samri said the guard had crashed his car in the area after which the four began pelting him with stones near one of the local settlers' homes. The guard then opened fire, killing one, she said.

She added that Sarhan's body was transferred to the Abu Kabeir forensic medicine center and that the guard was detained for questioning.

Earlier, a Wad Hilwa official said Israeli forces at the scene prevented the transfer of Sarhan's body out of the area for two hours.
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