2 soldiers wounded in Nablus operation

Unconfirmed report of bystander killed in exchange of fire.

Two paratroopers were wounded by an improvised explosive thrown at them during an operation in Nablus on Tuesday. The pair received first aid and was immediately evacuated from the scene. The IDF has been conducting sweeps of the volatile West Bank city, arresting or killing Palestinian gunmen and uncovering hidden arsenals. Over the past week, security forces arrested over 13 terrorists in Nablus. In the most recent action, which began early Tuesday morning, troops encountered gunfire coming from mult iple directions as well as stone-throwing Palestinians. At least 16 Palestinians were wounded and one bystander was killed in exchanges with troops, according to Palestinian sources. Military sources could not confirm the claim about the dead civilian bu t said that care was taken to ensure the safety of those not involved in the fighting. An earlier report about Muhammad Fara being killed by IDF artillery fire in southern Gaza turned out to be false. Fara, 45, died after the fuel tank in which he was drilling a hole blew up. Elsewhere in the West Bank, security forces arrested six members of the Islamic Jihad and one Tanzim suspect, and an Israeli car traveling near Ramallah narrowly avoided a thrown Molotov cocktail. Meanwhile, the number of violen t incidents at checkpoints keeps growing. On Tuesday, soldiers at the Hawara checkpoint, near Nablus, caught three men trying to smuggle four Molotov cocktails and assault rifle ammunition. This is the third arms smuggling attempt foiled at the checkpoi nt in the past week. Reservists at the Beit Iba checkpoint, near Jenin, nabbed a Palestinian smuggling a large kitchen knife under his clothes. The suspect admitted that he had intended to kill a soldier with the weapon. The day before, a Palestinian te en ager tried to stab a Border Police officer at the entrance to the IDF District Coordination Office in Jenin. The attacker was wrestled to the ground and taken into custody before he could harm anyone. However, an attempt on the life of Sgt. Nir Kahane, 2 0, ended on a fatal note. The military policeman was stabbed to death Thursday while examining the bag of a Palestinian man at the Kalandiya checkpoint, near Jerusalem.p