Gunmen take over Fatah headquarters

Wednesday, December 14, 2005 | 
A shootout left three people wounded after gunmen from Al Aksa Martyrs' Brigades took over Fatah headquarters in the Gaza Strip, deepening a political crisis ahead of a key election deadline. The shootout was the latest and most serious incident in internal party violence as Fatah prepares to announce its candidates for the Jan. 25 parliamentary elections. Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas, along with rival parties, faced a midnight deadline to present the party's candidate list. Primaries were held in recent weeks to determine who would represent the party in the election, but Abbas decided to cancel the results of the primaries in some areas due to violence, ballot box burning and other election violations. He said he would appoint candidates in those areas. The gunmen who occupied the Fatah headquarters demanded that the primary results be respected.

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