GAZA, July 16: Palestinian gunmen abducted the Gaza Strip's police chief in a highway ambush on Friday, holding him for three hours until President Yasser Arafat agreed to meet their anti-corruption demands, a senior official said.

The Jenin Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility for kidnapping Ghazi al-Jabali in one of the boldest challenges to Arafat's authority by Palestinians seeking security and governmental reforms.

The attack on Jabali's convoy on Gaza's coastal road also underscored concerns the area, where Israel says militants are trying to seize power from the Palestinian Authority, could slip deeper into chaos after a planned pullout of Israeli soldiers.

"(Jabali) is now under the protection of (Preventive Security chief) Rashid Abu Shbak and has been released," the official said, without giving details of the police chief's condition.

Arafat, the official said, agreed to the kidnappers' demands to dismiss Jabali and put him on trial for suspected corruption. The Palestinian leader had sent a representative to negotiate with the group in El Bureij refugee camp south of Gaza City.

After his release, Jabali was taken to police headquarters in Gaza City. It was unclear whether he was under arrest. Two of Jabali's bodyguards were wounded and the rear window and tyres of a jeep blown out during what a Palestinian security man at the scene said had been a volley of bullets from more than 10 gunmen who attacked the motorcade.

"We gave three years to the Palestinian Authority to carry out reforms. We waited a long time. But they didn't do anything. We are doing this in our way," Abu Iyad, a spokesman for the brigades, said. -Reuters

Opinion

Sialkot speaks
31 Jul 2021

Sialkot speaks

The PML-N leadership is shell-shocked. A drubbing by the PTI in Sialkot? In the heart of Sharif territory?
Who messed up Afghanistan?
Updated 31 Jul 2021

Who messed up Afghanistan?

Russia and USA are squarely responsible for Afghanistan’s tragedy but Pakistan is certainly not innocent.

Editorial

China-Taliban meeting
Updated 31 Jul 2021

China-Taliban meeting

WITH the government in Kabul appearing to stand on very fragile foundations, and as the clock ticks down to the ...
31 Jul 2021

Outages in Makran

IT is no surprise that people in Balochistan’s Makran Division have of late taken to the streets to protest in the...
31 Jul 2021

Reduction in polio cases

AFTER the long and tedious efforts of those running the national polio programme, there are signs that Pakistan ...
30 Jul 2021

Judge’s elevation

A CONTROVERSY roiling the legal fraternity for a few weeks has come to a head. It was precipitated by the Judicial...
PTI’s Sialkot win
30 Jul 2021

PTI’s Sialkot win

The PML-N’s internal duality is a particularly acute factor that is dragging down the party in electoral contests.
30 Jul 2021

Attack on Chinese

AN attack targeting two Chinese nationals in Karachi on Wednesday should put the security apparatus on alert in ...