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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 April 2006, 13:21 GMT 14:21 UK
Palestinians storm PM's offices
Al-Aqsa gunman
An al-Aqsa Martyrs' gunman outside the Ramallah offices
Palestinian gunmen have stormed the Palestinian prime minister's office in the West Bank town of Ramallah.

The new prime minister, Hamas' Ismail Haniya, was not in the office - he is based in Gaza.

The men from the militant al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades left the building soon afterwards.

About 20 gunmen are reported to have forced their way into the building, which also houses the offices of the rest of the Palestinian cabinet.

A video conference was going on at the time, linking government offices in Ramallah and Gaza.

The gunmen even managed to speak down the video link with Mr Haniya.

According to witnesses, the gunmen demanded jobs and promotion. Then, within half an hour, they left the building.

The al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade is a an offshoot of the Fatah faction, the party defeated by Hamas in the recent Palestinian elections.

BBC Jerusalem correspondent Jon Leyne says there has been continued tension between the different Palestinian factions, often over issues as mundane as the distribution of jobs and other benefits.


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