Suicide bomber kills four in West Bank attack

A Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up near an Israeli military checkpoint in the northern West Bank today, killing one Israeli and three Palestinians, military officials said.

The Israeli army said the roadblock had been erected earlier today after it received warnings that a suicide bombing was being planned.

The army said the bomber was travelling in a taxi headed toward Israel that was stopped at the roadblock for a security check. The bomber then exited the vehicle, approached a group of soldiers and blew himself up.

The army would not confirm whether soldiers were among the wounded, and it was unclear whether the bomber was included among the three Palestinian deaths.

Rescue workers said at least two Israelis were wounded.

The Arabic satellite station al-Arabiya reported that Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. The claim could not immediately be confirmed, though Islamic Jihad earlier this week rebuffed an appeal from Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to halt attacks on Israelis.

Palestinian security officials and witnesses said two bombers, including a woman, had struck, adding that four Palestinians were slightly wounded. Israeli officials could not confirm the account.

The army said the explosion occurred between two Jewish settlements just south of the Palestinian town of Tulkarem. The site was about 2 miles inside the West Bank.

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