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Last Updated: Tuesday, 21 March 2006, 17:33 GMT
Israeli police thwart bomb attack
Traffic backed up on the main Tel Aviv-Jerusalem motorway
The operation brought Israel's main motorway to a standstill
Israeli security forces say they have thwarted a planned bomb attack, a week before a general election.

Police said they found 5kg of explosives in a van that they had stopped on the main motorway from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv.

Ten Palestinians in the vehicle were arrested following a 15-minute high-speed chase.

A police spokesman said it was believed that the bomb would have been used in an attack in central Israel.

Ten Palestinians were arrested, stripped and handcuffed
Ten Palestinians were stripped and handcuffed by the side of the road

Israel has been on high alert for possible suicide bombings in the run-up to the election next Monday.

The operation brought Israel's main motorway to a standstill for more than an hour.

"In the past few days we know about an increase in alerts and today one attack was thwarted. I want to congratulate the defence forces on the successful operation and the fact that a terror attack was prevented today," Israeli Defence Minister Shaul Mofaz said.


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