A gun battle broke out in the Palestinian Authority-administered city of Shechem (Nablus) in Samaria Wednesday morning, after Israeli forces surrounded a building where a wanted terrorist was hiding.

IDF soldiers, Border Police officers, and members of the elite Yamam special forces unit took part in the operation in the Kasbah of Shechem.

Terrorists opened fire on the Israeli forces, who responded in kind.

Nine terrorists were killed in the gun battle, including two who were involved in the murder of Staff Sergeant Ido Baruch. The 21-year-old soldier was shot and killed by terrorists last year near the town of Shavei Shomron in Samaria.

The slain terrorists included senior members of Palestinian Islamic Jihad, as well as terrorists from several other groups. Musab Munir Muhammad Awais, 26, a leader of the Balata Brigade, was listed among the dead, as was Al Quds Brigades leader Muhammed Abu Bakr.

Palestinian Authority health officials reported that 97 Palestinian Arabs were wounded in the gun battle.

No Israeli security personnel were killed or wounded in the battle.

Locals claimed that a missile was fired by Israeli soldiers at the building in question.

Overnight, IDF forces working in conjunction with Shin Bet agents and Border Police officers, operated in a number of villages across Judea and Samaria, arresting five terror suspects.