Palestinian carrying bombs tries to board light rail in Jerusalem

Palestinian carrying bombs tries to board light rail in Jerusalem

Alerted by security guard at tram stop, police close off Jaffa Road and search suspect, find several explosive devices in his bag

Police in downtown Jerusalem on Sunday morning arrested a Palestinian man who was found to be carrying explosives and knives in his backpack.

The suspect, identified as a West Bank resident, was detained near the light rail stop on Jaffa Road after he raised the suspicions of a security guard.

Police said the man was standing “behind the stop, with a bag in his hand.” When the guard asked to examine the contents of the bag, he noticed a bomb and called police.

Sappers were promptly deployed to the scene and the road was closed off, along with the adjacent King George Street.

Police said the man was found to be carrying “a number of pipe bombs” and had been arrested and taken in for questioning. A later police statement said that sappers disarmed “three pipe bombs wired together.” Mobile phones and knives were also in the backpack.

A video from the scene showed police pointing their guns at the suspect, who lay on the ground near the train stop. A second clip showed sappers strip-searching him, apparently for explosives.

Media reports said the man was a resident of Beit Ula, near Hebron in the West Bank. Police said he was “in his 20s.”

“This morning, thanks to the vigilance of the light rail security guards, a large terror attack was averted,” said Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat. “Our message to the public is to return to their normal routines, to remain vigilant, and to never give in to terror.”

The light rail has resumed its service.

Since October, 35 Israelis and four foreign nationals have been killed in a spate of car-ramming, stabbing, shooting, and bombing attacks. Some 215 Palestinians have also been killed. Israel says most of the Palestinians killed were involved in attacks or clashes.

AFP contributed to this report.

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