AZUN, West Bank - A teenage Palestinian suicide bomber who was being hunted by Israeli security services blew up himself up near the northern West Bank town of Qalqilya Monday, Palestinian and Israeli sources said.
No one else was injured in the explosion in the village of Azun, which lies close to the Jewish settlement of Shavei Shomron, the sources added.
One Israeli source said the teenager had started running towards soldiers after being located but then blew himself up.
The youth appeared to have been wearing a belt packed with explosives as his torso and lower body were ripped apart.
He had been tracked by the army and police for several hours as a heightened state of alert was imposed to the north of Tel Aviv.
Army spokeswoman Major Sharon Feingold said it was the ninth time a Palestinian suicide attack had been thwarted since October 19.
She added that a "terrorist" cell had been smashed as a result of information which had also led to the foiling of the suicide attack.
"We are talking about a whole network," she said without giving numbers.
A Palestinian security source said Israeli soldiers had entered the village in jeeps and imposed a curfew at around 10:00 am (0800 GMT).
"Shortly afterwards an individual dressed in black walked up to the jeeps and blew himself only five metres (yards) away," the source said.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades claimed responsibility in a phone call to AFP and named the bomber as Sabih Abu Al-Saoud, a 17-year-old from Nablus.
The Brigades is an armed faction linked to Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's mainstream Fatah movement.
The death brought the toll from three years of Palestinian uprising to 3,591, including 2,676 Palestinians and 849 Israelis.