|Villagers said Israeli soldiers fired without provocation
1989: Six killed in West Bank village raid
The At least six Palestinians have been killed in an early morning raid by Israeli soldiers on an Arab village on the West Bank.
Thirty people were also reported to have been injured in clashes in Nahalin, a village of 4,500 inhabitants to the south of Jerusalem.
Villagers said they had been verbally abused and harassed by members of the border police for several days.
Israel has recently started to replace army troops- stationed on the West Bank to quell the Palestinian uprising - with specially trained police units.
They contain a large number of non-Muslim Arabs - known as Druses - and Palestinians complain they are more brutal than the Israelis.
Last night members of the border police carried out a surprise search of Nahalin.
They returned with soldiers early this morning at around 0330 and carried out searches of several homes.
Villagers claimed troops and police opened fire without provocation as they were leaving morning prayers at themosque.
But the commander of the Israeli forces on the West Bank said troops had come under attack from about 100 stone-throwing youths.
General Amram Mitzna told reporters: "The company was violently attacked by youths from the village, and they responded.
"They fired tear gas and rubber bullets and, when their lives were in danger, live ammunition."
General Mitzna said the police and soldiers had entered the village to arrest people who persistently stoned the cars of Jewish settlers.
The army has ordered an inquiry into events.
The incident at Nahalin is one of the bloodiest so far in the 17 months of the uprising against Israeli rule in the West Bank and Gaza.
The two territories, home to approximately 1.7 million Palestinians, were captured from Jordan and Egypt in the 1967 Middle East war.