A Palestinian official says a gunbattle between Palestinian police and gunmen in the West Bank city of Nablus has killed a woman caught in the crosshairs

Akram Rajoub, governor of the West Bank city of Nablus, says three policemen were wounded in the shootout.

He says the gunmen attacked a Palestinian security post in the old city of Nablus early on Wednesday. The police responded by shooting toward the gunmen, and the 39-year-old Palestinian woman was accidentally killed.

There have been similar fatal shootings in Nablus in recent months, illustrating the growing lawlessness in the West Bank, where police struggle with widespread illegal gun possession.

The Palestinian Authority government says it is determined to root out crime in parts of the territory under its control.