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Last Updated: Sunday, 18 April, 2004, 21:24 GMT 22:24 UK
Palestinian 'bomber boy' charged
By Matthew Price
BBC correspondent in Jerusalem

Hussam Abdo filmed at the Nablus checkpoint
Israel reports the boy says he was offered $20 to become a bomber
Israel has charged a 16-year-old Palestinian boy with attempted murder and possession of explosives.

Hussam Abdo was detained last month after being caught wearing a suicide bomb belt at a checkpoint near the West Bank town of Nablus.

It was the most public of arrests - a cameraman filmed as the tearful teenager was ordered by soldiers to remove his shirt.

Underneath, an 8kg explosive vest was strapped to his body.

'$20 payment'

The Israeli military has released a statement they say the boy has made.

In it, he says he was approached by a man who asked if he would be willing to carry out a suicide bombing.

He was offered just over $20.

The statement says he was blindfolded and taken to a deserted house where the belt was prepared with four pockets full of explosives, nails and bits of metal.

A taxi driver then drove him to the checkpoint - but when it came to his turn to go through, he was stopped.

Hussam Abdo remains in custody. A date for his trial has not been set.

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