Suicide attacks kill at least 15 Israelis, Hamas praises bombers
Two suicide bombing attacks took place Tuesday in Israel killing at least 15 people and wounding dozens.
At least seven people were killed and 40 injured in a bombing at a cafe in Jerusalem, hours after a suicide bomber killed eight soldiers east of Tel Aviv.
There was no claim of responsibility, but Hamas members praised the two attacks, which came just three days after Israel tried to assassinate Hamas' founder and spiritual leader, Sheikh Ahmed Yassin.
A suicide bomber blew up at the entrance of a popular cafe in Jerusalem Tuesday night, killing at least seven people and wounding about 40 others, witnesses and rescue workers said.
The blast went off at 11:20 pm (local time). Israel's Army Radio reported that a security guard stopped the bomber from entering the cafe, and he blew himself up at the entrance. The entire front of the cafe was shattered by the blast.
The first suicide bombing attack of the day took place at a bus stop next to an Israeli military base in central Israel, east of Tel Aviv, at around 17:50 (local time).
According to media reports, at least eight Israeli soldiers were killed and at least 30 persons have been injured. Fifteen were reportedly in serious condition. Hospital doctors said most of the injured were soldiers.
The Israeli media reported that a Palestinian suicide bomber, dressed as an Israeli soldier, blew himself up at a crowded bus stop adjacent to the military base.
Emergency rescue workers at the scene of the attack found one dead body, believed to be that of the bomber.
Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, Dr. Abdel Aziz Rantisi, said the attack was "a reaction to the Zionists' crimes and assassinations."
Meanwhile, an official in the Israeli Prime Minister's office was quoted as saying, "The attack today is further indication that the Palestinian Authority is doing absolutely nothing whatsoever to reign in terrorists or to dismantle the terror infrastructure in their areas."
Palestinian legislator Saeb Ereket condemned the attack, saying the Palestinians urge the United States and the international community to "de-escalate the violence and implement the road map." (Albawaba.com)
© 2003 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)
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