IDF kills four in Nablus

18 December 2003
Israeli Defence Force (IDF) soldiers killed at least three suspected Palestinian militants during an incursion into the West Bank city of Nablus. The four men were shot dead in the Old Quarter of the city in what Israeli military officials described as an operation to arrest suspected militants. 'The Israeli forces identified an armed man on a rooftop,' an IDF spokesman said. 'Firing erupted. Two more armed men joined the fighting. The troops returned fire. The three were killed.'

In a separate raid, IDF troops detained two suspected suicide bombers. One was arrested in Nablus and the second in the nearby village of Assira Shimaliya.

Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's security adviser, David Baker, on 17 December said that Nablus had become a particular worry for the Israeli military. 'Nablus has become a hub of terror activity,' Baker told the local daily Haaretz. 'Since early October, after the suicide bombing at Maxim restaurant [in Haifa], Israel has prevented 13 suicide attacks against civilians inside Israel and five in the West Bank, which had originated in Nablus. The IDF search and arrest operation overnight was geared to prevent further attacks on the citizens of Israel.'

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