Israeli helicopter attack kills militia leader

Tuesday, April 23, 2002

HEBRON, West Bank -- A militia leader and another man were killed late Monday in an Israeli helicopter attack in the West Bank city of Hebron, witnesses said.

The helicopter fired missiles at a car, killing Marwan Zalloum, commander of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade militia in the city, residents said. The militia, associated with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, has taken responsibility for dozens of attacks against Israelis in the West Bank and Gaza Strip during 1 1/2 years of violence.

Palestinian security officials said Zalloum was on a list of 33 activists that Israel turned over to the Palestinians several months ago, demanding that they be arrested.

The Israeli military confirmed that its helicopters fired missiles in a targeted killing.

Israeli forces have killed dozens of suspected Palestinian militant leaders in similar attacks during the conflict.

Hundreds of people gathered around the charred car after the attack, which came just before midnight. The bodies of the two men were badly burned, witnesses said.

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