Bus bombing in Israel: At least 14 killed, Islamic Jihad claims attack; Bush, Arafat condemn
An explosion went off on a bus in northern Israel on Monday, killing at least 14 and injuring at least 40 people. The bus explosion took place in northern Israel, near the city of Hadera, less than 10 kilometers from the West Bank.
According to the Israeli police, the blast was caused by a car bomb that was next to the bus. "As far as we know at this time, a car moved alongside the bus and exploded," police spokesman told Israel television. The police said two Palestinians were traveling in the car bomb. Police added that the two suicide bombers drove a jeep carrying more than 100 kilograms of explosives close to the bus as it was waiting at a bus stop.
The bus was on fire and firefighters were working to bring the blaze under control. "I was 60 metres from the bus station...and I heard an explosion. The bus was completely shattered. I saw the bus go up in flames. It was completely wrecked," a witness told Israel Radio.
About one hour after the bombing, the Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for this attack. David Baker, an official in Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office, held the Palestinian Authority responsible for the attack.
Yasser Arafat condemned the bombing. "You know that the decision of the Palestinian leadership is that it is opposed to attacks against Palestinian and Israeli civilians. We reject such attacks against civilians," Arafat told reporters outside his headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah.
White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said of the bombing: "The president condemns the most recent attack in Israel. It's another reminder of how it's so important for peace to be pursued and for terror to be stopped." (Albawaba.com)
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