Israeli troops raid Nablus

Dozens of Israeli jeeps and armoured vehicles raided the West Bank city of Nablus Sunday and placed tens of thousands of Palestinians under curfew.

The army said troops had yesterday, at the start of the operation to arrest suspected militants, uncovered an explosives laboratory in the city and that soldiers had been shot at in several places and returned fire. No injuries were reported on either side.

About 80 jeeps backing several bulldozers entered the city, witnesses said. The bulldozers pushed rubble into piles on main roads to make them impassable, they said.

Troops placed about 50,000 people under curfew in the centre of Nablus and closed the main entrance to the city, witnesses said.

Jeeps blocked entries to two main hospitals in the city, said a doctor, Ghassan Hamdan.

Schools and a university in the city announced that they had cancelled studies due to the curfew.

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