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HAMAS SEIZES U.S.-FINANCED WEAPONS, EQUIPMENT

GAZA CITY [MENL] -- Hamas has captured thousands of assault rifles and scores of combat vehicles financed by the United States and supplied by Egypt and Jordan to the Palestinian Authority.

The Islamic movement acquired the weapons, ammunition and vehicles during Hamas's capture of security installations in the Gaza Strip aligned with PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas. For the most part, Fatah-aligned PA officers fled the Hamas assaults.

"I would say that they have most of the weapons and armored vehicles sent by Egypt and Jordan over the last year," a PA security officer said.

The officer said Hamas seized thousands of U.S.-origin M-16 and Soviet-origin AK-47 Kalashnikov assault rifles as well as military radios. He said other booty captured by Hamas included trucks, mortars and hand grenades.

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