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Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Suicide-bomb belt discovered near Nablus

Members of the IDF's Haruv Battalion on Tuesday thwarted a suicide bomb attack that was to have taken place in central Israel in the coming days after finding a seven-kg. explosives belt hidden in a barrel in the yard of a house in Silat a-Daher, northwest of Nablus.

Security officials told The Jerusalem Post that a major attack was thwarted after an intelligence tip-off revealed the whereabouts of the bomb. Sappers blew the belt up, and a manhunt for the dispatchers and the plotters is under way, as are efforts to determine which terror group was behind the planned attack. In the early morning, security forces arrested two fugitives in the village, but it is not clear if they are linked to the planned attack or to other terror activities.

On Tuesday the security establishment registered 47 warnings of plans by terrorists to launch attacks against Israelis. In the afternoon Border Police sappers blew up two pipe bombs that had been placed on Route 60 near El-Khader, west of Bethlehem. Officials believe that terrorists planned to detonate the bombs near army forces or Israeli civilian cars on the road, which is the main route linking Jerusalem to Hebron.

In the early morning, 23 Palestinian fugitives were arrested in raids in the West Bank.