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Car Bomb Hits West Bank Checkpoint - 2004-08-11

One person has died and at least 13 people were injured when a car bomb exploded at a busy West Bank checkpoint Wednesday. Israel Radio said a Palestinian taxi loaded with explosives blew up as it neared the main checkpoint between the West Bank town of Ramallah and Jerusalem.

Dozens of ambulances had raced to the area, but left the scene about a half hour later. Israeli police and dogs trained to sniff out explosives continued to scour the area for any additional bombs.

The Kalandria checkpoint is on the northern outskirts of Jerusalem and is the busiest in the West Bank. Thousands of Palestinians cross through it each day as they go to and from jobs in Israel.

Israel Radio also reported that security sources had been placed on alert after Israeli authorities received word that such an attack was imminent.

The Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, a violent armed faction associated with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier Wednesday Israeli troops and tanks raided the Khan Younis Refugee camp in the Gaza Strip in an operation that left more than a dozen Palestinians wounded, three of them critically.

The nighttime raid sparked clashes between Palestinian gunmen and the Israeli troops who returned fire. The witnesses said the casualties occurred when an Israeli helicopter fired at a group of Palestinian gunmen.

Israel said its forces destroyed 13 abandoned buildings that bordered the Jewish settlement of Neve Dekalim. They said the building had been used by Palestinian gunmen to fire on Israelis. The incursion ended when the Israeli troops withdrew just before dawn.

In the West Bank, a Palestinian teenager was killed and 10 others wounded by Israeli forces in an incident Tuesday in Nablus during a clash between stone throwing teenagers and an Israeli jeep patrol.

And two Israelis received minor injuries in a shooting and bomb attack on an armored bus and three civilian vehicles Tuesday near the West Bank settlement of Ariel. Shooting incidents that caused no injuries were also reported in Nablus and Rafah in the Gaza Strip.