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Militant leader killed in W.Bank missile strike
Updated: 2004-06-15 09:20

Israel's military killed three militants, including a local leader, in a missile attack on a car in the West Bank city of Nablus Monday, Palestinian security sources said.

Khalil Marshoud, leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and two other militants in his group were killed when an Israeli missile hit their car outside the Balata refugee camp in Nablus Monday night.

Palestinians inspect the wreckage of the destroyed car hit by Israeli missiles in the West Bank city of Nablus June 14, 2004. Israel's military killed two militants, including a leader of the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, in the missile attack, Palestinian security sources said. [Reuters]
Balata is a stronghold for the brigades, an armed group in President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction.

Marshoud and a second militant were killed instantly, while a third later died in hospital of his wounds.

The Israeli army issued a statement saying the air force had targeted a vehicle carrying a senior militant.

"After repeated efforts to arrest the terrorist were to no avail, the Israeli army acted in order to thwart future attacks," it said, but did not give details.

Palestinian security officials recovered fragments of what they said was a missile from the charred remains of the car.

At the scene, rescue workers pointed to a large crater near the wreckage which they said was caused by the missile's impact.

Palestinian residents and security officials were unable to say how the missile was fired because they said electricity was cut moments before the explosion, shrouding the area in darkness. Nobody reported hearing the sound of helicopters.

Marshoud was the target of an Israeli missile strike on May 3 when three al-Aqsa brigades members were killed in a helicopter attack, al-Aqsa brigades sources said.

They said Marshoud evaded the attempt on his life as he was driving in a different vehicle at the time.

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