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Nablus gunmen fire live shots to protest PA arrest raid

Jan. 15, 2013 2:33 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 17, 2013 11:07 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Masked gunmen on Tuesday fired live shots into the air in a Nablus refugee camp in protest at a raid by Palestinian Authority security forces hours earlier, locals said.

PA security raided several homes in Balata camp in an attempt to detain several men wanted for participating in protests against security forces, locals told Ma'an.

They raided the homes of Fatah leaders Muhammad Abu Zayel and Iyad al-Tirwai but left without making any arrests.

After the raids, masked gunmen gathered in the camp and fired multiple rounds of live ammunition into the air with semi-automatic weapons in protest against the treatment of Fatah members by security forces.

The gunmen accused PA security chiefs of targeting Fatah members and humiliating them, calling on President Mahmoud Abbas, who heads the Fatah party, to investigate the incident.

On Thursday, a group of masked gunmen in Balata camp claiming affiliation to Fatah's military wing warned that they would fight back against the imprisonment of their members by Palestinian security forces.

As president, Abbas heads the security forces, but the unidentified gunmen said they were acting to defend the president against "the enemies of Fatah and the enemies of the Palestinian people."
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