March 12, 2008 / 5:05 PM / 11 years ago

Israeli troops kill 4 militants in W.Bank - medics

(Adds details)

BETHLEHEM, West Bank, March 12 (Reuters) - Israeli commandos killed four Palestinian militants in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian officials said, posing a potential new challenge to Egyptian efforts to mediate a Gaza Strip ceasefire.

Security officials identified three of the dead in Bethlehem as members of Islamic Jihad, including the group’s local leader.

The fourth militant belonged to al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, an armed wing of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah faction, the Palestinian security officials said.

An Israeli military spokesman had no immediate comment.

Earlier on Wednesday, Israeli troops killed an Islamic Jihad militant in the West Bank town of Tulkarm, drawing vows of revenge from the group. (Reporting by Mustafa Abu Ghani, Writing by Dan Williams in Jerusalem, Editing by Jon Boyle)

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