Israeli troops shot and killed a member of the Palestinian security forces they wanted to arrest in the central West Bank town of Qalqilya this morning, the Israeli military has said.

Palestinian residents named the man as Saleh Yassin, 27, a Palestinian intelligence officer, and local hospital staff said he had been shot in the back.

A local Palestinian official said Mr Yassin was shot dead in cold blood while returning home from work.

The Israeli army said Mr Yassin had fired at troops when they came to arrest him and that they shot back at the source of the firing.

An army statement said that Mr Yassin had been the object of the arrest raid because he had "opened fire towards [Israeli] soldiers on numerous occasions in recent weeks".

It added that a weapon and ammunition had been found at the scene.

Mr Yassin's death was the second in the occupied West Bank in a few hours after Nafeh al-Saadi, 23, whom Jenin residents said was an Islamic Jihad militant, was shot dead by Israeli troops who came to arrest him yesterday.

The Israeli army said forces opened fire after coming under attack in the raid.

A number of other Palestinians were wounded in subsequent stone-throwing clashes with the troops.

Violent incidents in the Israeli-occupied West Bank have become more regular in recent months and at least 19 Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed since US-backed Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed in July.

Yesterday, chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said the talks could take up to a year to complete if they can reach a broad framework accord in the coming weeks.