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Security chief shot dead near Jenin camp

Sept. 5, 2012 9:50 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 6, 2012 3:11 P.M.)
JENIN (Ma'an) -- A colonel in the Palestinian Authority security forces was shot dead near Jenin refugee camp on Wednesday, Jenin officials said.

Hisham al-Rakh was shot several times by unidentified gunmen while driving his car in a mountainous area near the refugee camp, Jenin governor Talal Dweikat told Ma'an.

Reports indicate that al-Rakh was shot at least seven times by the gunmen and taken to Jenin hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

Dweikat strongly condemned the shooting and said that security forces were investigating the attack. It is not known why al-Rakh was targeted.

In May, Palestinian Authority forces launched a large scale security crackdown in the Jenin district after gunmen opened fire on the home of late governor Qaddura Musa, leading to a heart attack which caused his death.

A number of members of the PA security forces were questioned on suspicion of involvement in different illicit activities, and illegally possessed weapons were confiscated, commander of Jenin's security forces Radi Asida said.

The northern West Bank city of Jenin became known as a center for Palestinian fighters during the second intifada, with many militant groups launching attacks on Israeli targets from the Jenin refugee camp.

In April 2011, Juliano Mer-Khamis, the General-Director of the Freedom Theater, was killed in Jenin. Unknown gunmen inside the city's refugee camp opened fire on his car, Jenin police said at the time.

Reuters contributed to this report
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