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Suicide bomber strikes in West Bank, two hurt
Updated: 2004-09-14 13:36

A suicide bomber blew up at a West Bank crossing wounding two Israeli soldiers on Tuesday, the Israeli army and medics said.

The army said the blast occurred near a passage built for Palestinian farmers outside the West Bank city of Qalqilya, and that one soldier was wounded moderately, another lightly.

Israel Radio said the bomber detonated next to an Israeli jeep at the crossing.

There were no immediate claims of responsibility for the blast which came the morning after Israel killed three Palestinian militants of Palestinian President Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction in an air strike in the West Bank town of Jenin.

Three Palestinian militants killed in Israeli missile fire

Israeli Air Force killed three Al Aqsa Martyr's Brigade militants, including a senior operative, Mahmud Abu Halifa, accused of planning several attacks against the country, in a missile fire on a car in Jenin.

Abu Halifa, head of militant cell in the area of Jenin and the deputy of Zakaria Zbeida, head of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades in the northern west Bank, was the main target of the yesterday's attack, the Army said.

Security sources accused Halifa of carrying out several attacks against Israeli targets, including the attack at Kalandiya checkpoint in August in which two Palestinians were killed and six soldiers injured.

The other two militants killed were identified as Yamen Ayub Faisal and Majd Ayub Faisal.

Israel unsuccessfully targeted Halifa two weeks ago, whom it considered the group's real operations commander in the area.

"The targeting took place following concrete intelligence information regarding the planning of a terror attack by the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades infrastructure in Jenin, and the meeting of the three operatives in order to plan the attack", security sources said.

The operatives often met in vehicles in order to make it difficult for the security forces to arrest them, they said.

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