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Six wounded in Palestinian gun battles

Six Palestinians were wounded in separate gun battles on Monday, which included a clash between militants and members of the security forces outside a government ministry over jobs and late salaries, witnesses said.
/ Source: Reuters

Six Palestinians were wounded in separate gun battles on Monday, which included a clash between militants and members of the security forces outside a government ministry over jobs and late salaries, witnesses said.

Two people were wounded in the fighting outside the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Gaza City, and three along the main north-south Gaza highway, the witnesses said.

Such incidents have become increasingly common in the Gaza Strip since Israel pulled out last September and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas failed to deliver on promises of employment for militants who had fought Israeli forces.

Overnight, security forces exchanged fire with gunmen who took over a power-relay station in Gaza. One person was wounded.

Armed men also tried to take control of a military hospital in the territory to demand late salaries. Police dispersed them without injuries.

In the fighting on the main north-south Gaza highway, a militant was critically wounded and two policemen were hurt, the witnesses said.

The cash-strapped Palestinian Authority has had problems paying some of its 140,000 employees and could face difficulties getting foreign aid once a government led by Hamas, the militant group that won a Jan. 25 election, is sworn in.