Two Palestinians killed near Nablus; Red Cross official kidnapped in Gaza Strip
Two Palestinians were killed and a third was seriously wounded during an attempted suicide bombing at the Jit junction near the West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday evening, Israeli media reports said.
An Israeli patrol stopped a taxi in which the three men were travelling. According to the Israeli press, one of the Palestinians started running toward the soldiers and tried to detonate his explosive belt.
Soldiers opened fire as he hit the ground, and the explosive belt went off, killing a second Palestinian nearby, the Israeli army said.
Palestinian witnesses said they saw an explosion after soldiers opened fire on a Palestinian car.
In the Gaza Strip, four armed Palestinians kidnapped a German Red Cross official, a spokeswoman said. Nicolai Panke, the official who was abducted, is "safe and well" and Red Cross officials were in contact with the Palestinian Authority in an effort to arrange his release, said Alexandra Matijevic, the spokeswoman, according to AP.
Panke was kidnapped around midday in front of the Red Cross office in the southern Gaza town of Khan Younis, she said. Panke "is responsible for our activities in those areas and was assisting people who had their houses demolished. He was kidnapped by four armed young men," Matijevic said.
Palestinian security officials said the gunmen were former police officers who had been fired from their duties in the Palestinian security services. (Albawaba.com)