Al Qaeda sympathisers detained in West B…

Al Qaeda sympathisers detained in West Bank, Gaza.

Palestinian security forces detained six radical Islamists with explosives in the West Bank in the first known arrests of al Qaeda-inspired militants in the territory, a senior Palestinian officer said.

In the Gaza Strip, controlled by a separate, Hamas-run administration, the authorities announced the arrest of a leader of a pro-al Qaeda group, the latest sign of a crackdown on radicals accused of bombing security offices and Internet cafes.

Hamas security officials cited 12 bombings which they believed were carried out by radical movements in recent weeks, the highest number of such attacks since Hamas took over the Gaza Strip.

Vehicles belonging to two Hamas officials and the office of a Hamas security service were blown up in the bombings. There were no casualties.

The Hamas-run Interior Ministry said the head of a fundamentalist group known as the Jaljalat was arrested late on Tuesday and that several other members of groups supporting al Qaeda were detained in recent days. “A preliminary investigation linked (him) to several if not all of the bombing attacks against security offices and personnel and Internet cafes. He is being interrogated,” said Ehab al-Ghsain, spokesman for the Hamas-run Interior Ministry.