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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Bystanders Curtail Bomber

TEL AVIV, Israel -- An Israeli bus driver and a paramedic pinned a suicide bomber to the ground Thursday after spotting his bomb belt, but then fled the scene, along with other bystanders. The assailant detonated the explosives, killing himself and an elderly woman and wounding four people.

The bomber tried to board the bus at a crowded bus stop near the Tel Aviv suburb of Bnei Brak, but slipped and fell onto the sidewalk, apparently pulled back by the weight of the explosives. The driver said he got off the bus to help the man and spotted the bomb belt.

Many of the passengers were soldiers, and it was not immediately clear why they did not kill the assailant before he blew himself up.

In the Gaza refugee camp of Rafah, two Palestinian boys, aged 12 and 17, were killed Thursday in an exchange of fire between Israeli soldiers and local gunmen.

Palestinians said more than 20 tanks and several jeeps, backed by attack helicopters, moved on the refugee camp, firing machine guns. Children and teen-agers came out to watch the fighting, residents said, and the two boys were killed.

The Israeli military said the fighting broke out during an army operation to seek and destroy tunnels used to smuggle arms into Gaza from Egypt. It said two such tunnels were sealed.

Overnight, Israeli troops entered several West Bank towns and villages and arrested 70 Palestinians, in one of the largest sweeps in two years of fighting.