Beirut/Damascus – The Palestinian gunman who shot and wounded two Lebanese policemen Monday south of Beirut, has been handed over to Lebanese authorities, a spokesman for the militant Palestinian organization of which he is a member told Deutsche Presse Agentur dpa. The policemen, who were on patrol in the area of Naameh, were taken to hospital after being hit by gunfire from the nearby base manned by the pro-Syrian Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC).

One of the policemen was wounded in the foot while the other was more seriously wounded, hospital sources said. Anwar Raja, a spokesman for the PFLP-GC in Lebanon told dpa the group had handed over the attacker, but suggested the incident had been ‘planned’ and called on Lebanon to investigate the two policemen for possible political connections.

The PFLP-GC in an earlier statement from Damascus, said one of its fighters had ‘fired at the patrol car’s tyres because it drove off quickly’ after being stopped at a base checkpoint.

Apologizing for the incident, the PFLP-GC said it was investigating the circumstances surrounding the shooting.

‘The Front expresses its deep sorrow for this painful accident and stresses that it has launched its own investigation and is ready to form a joint formal investigative committee with competent (Lebanese authorities),’ the statement said.

Lebanese troops in October surrounded Naameh and other PFLP-GC bases in the Bekaa Valley on the border with Syria after an army surveyor was killed in an attack blamed on the militants but without anyone being handed over.

Two members of the group were wounded in an Israeli raid on Naameh on December 28 in response to rocket attacks launched on northern Israel from southern Lebanon.

A U.N. Security Council Resolution passed in September 2004 called on all militias in Lebanon to be disarmed, a call rejected by PFLP-GC leader Ahmed Jebril despite tension between Lebanon and Syria where Jebril is based.