Saturday, October 11, 2008

PA forces uncover large explosives lab in Hebron

Avi Issacharoff, Haaretz Correspondent and Reuters

Palestinian general intelligence forces have uncovered a very large bomb-making laboratory in the center of the West Bank city of Hebron, the Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported Friday. In the lab, Palestinian authorities found a variety of explosives, Ma'an reported. The discovery of the explosives lab followed the arrest of members of several terror cells, apparently linked to Hamas.

The Palestinian police said that after conducting close surveillance on suspicious movements by several residents, 11 suspects had been arrested.

Ramadan Awad, the chief of the Palestinian Authority police in Hebron, said that a recent police raid revealed that the Hamas-linked terror cell was manufacturing and storing large amounts of explosive materials in a rented residence in the area.

Awad said more than 100 kg (220 lbs) of explosives were seized along with ammunition and homemade firearms.

"The factory was preparing bombs which would have been used against us and against the will of the Palestinians," he told Reuters.

A Hamas official in Hebron said the targeted building had no links to the Islamic faction.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has also deployed Palestinian security forces in other major West Bank cities like Nablus and Jenin as part of a law-and-order in the West Bank since he broke with Hamas over its seizure of the Gaza Strip last year and revived peacemaking with Israel.

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