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Foreigners asked to leave Gaza after AFP journalist abducted
Latest Updated by 2007-01-04 09:12:53
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Palestinian security department has urged westerners, especially Europeans and Americans, to leave the Gaza Strip as the condition of an abducted AFP journalist remains unknown.

"We asked international organizations that work in the Gaza Strip to evacuate its foreigner employees for fears of new kidnappings," a senior security official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told reporters on Wednesday.

He added that the security agencies have received alerts of possible kidnappings that targeted Europeans and Americans.

Meanwhile, the Agency France-Presse(AFP)'s photographer Jaime Razuri, 50, a Peruvian, who was kidnapped on Jan. 1 in front of AFP office in Gaza by unknown gunmen, has been held captive for the third day.

The Palestinian factions, including governing Hamas, Fatah and the Islamic Jihad have condemned the abduction of Razuri and called for captors to release him unconditionally.

Palestinian Interior Ministry spokesman Khaled Abu Helal told reporters that the ministry has not got any information about the kidnappers.

Foreign journalists used to be kidnapped in the Gaza Strip but released unharmed hours later. But the abducted Razuri has recalled the kidnapping of two FOX news journalists last August and they were released 12 days later.

The AFP's journalist is the first abduction in 2007 since the Hamas-led government announced a plan to protect foreign press, the abduction came amid widening state of chaos and disorder in the Gaza Strip.

Earlier in the day, witnesses said that a member of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement was shot dead by a sniper in northern Gaza Strip.

The sniper fled after he gunned down Eynaia Emad, 23, while he was sitting in front of a Fatah senior militant's house in the town of Beit Lahiya, according to the witnesses.

Meanwhile, paramedics said that a member of Hamas' military wing was seriously wounded in a mysterious explosion at his house in the east of Gaza city.

Moreover, people found a body of a teenage in central Gaza Strip and another body of a woman in the north on Wednesday morning.

There were signs of torture on the woman's body and the investigations into the two killings were under way.

Abbas is intended to reshuffle chiefs of security agencies, seemingly in a new bid to end the lawlessness state and internal violence, a security source said, the move comes amid calls for boosting the security agencies and neutralize them.

Editor: Yan

By: Source: China View website
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