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Israeli troops shoot dead two Palestinians after alleged car-ramming in West Bank

The Palestinian foreign ministry said the two men, both aged 20, were shot in cold blood in 'a brutal execution'
An Israeli police spokesman said that the policeman injured in the pre-dawn attack had already been released from hospital (Reuters)

Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinians and injured a third after they allegedly ran over troops in the occupied West Bank, injuring a soldier and a border policeman, police and the army said.

The army said security forces opened fire at three Palestinian assailants "neutralising two of them and lightly injuring a third", while police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said two of the Palestinians were killed.

The Palestinian foreign ministry said the two men were shot in cold blood in "a brutal execution".

The Palestinian health ministry named the two men killed as Amir Mahmoud Darraj and Yussef Anqawi, both 20.

The mayor of Kafr Nama, northwest of Ramallah, said that troops had been leaving the village on foot after an operation on Monday to arrest a Palestinian suspect there when the incident occurred.

The mayor said he did not know the identities of the Palestinians allegedly involved and said they may have come from outside the village.

An Israeli military statement said: "Assailants ran over a number of soldiers who had stopped at the side of the road on their way out of the village.

"An [army] officer was severely injured and a Border Police soldier was lightly injured as a result."

Rosenfeld said that the policeman injured in the pre-dawn attack had already been released from hospital.

Later, the military claimed in a separate statement that just prior to the attack, Palestinians in the car had thrown firebombs at an Israeli checkpoint and that additional Molotov cocktails had been found in the vehicle.

Hamas, which governs the besieged Gaza Strip, praised the incident but stopped short of claiming it.

A statement hailing the incident said the Palestinian people "will continue their struggle against the occupier until they achieve complete freedom and free their land," the AFP news agency reported.

Israel's army said its troops had arrested 11 alleged Hamas operatives in the Ramallah area overnight.