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News ::
Sharon's creation, Hamas strikes again
04 Aug 2002
At least nine people were killed and 38 were wounded when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on an Egged bus filled with soldiers which was travelling near the northern town of Safed a short time before 9 A.M. Sunday morning.


AT LEAST 9 KILLED IN BOMBING ON BUS NEAR SAFED

http://www.haaretzdaily.com/

Uri Ash, Jalal Bana and Haim Shadmi, Ha'aretz Correspondents, Ha'aretz Service and agencies

At least nine people were killed and 38 were wounded when a Palestinian suicide bomber blew himself up on an Egged bus filled with soldiers which was travelling near the northern town of Safed a short time before 9 A.M. Sunday morning.

Of the wounded, two were in critical condition, 10 in serious condition and one person suffered moderate injuries. The rest sustained light injuries.

Hamas took repsonsibility for the attack in a statement on Hezbollah's al-Manar television station in Beirut. Hamas officials said the bombing was one in a series of attacks aimed at avenging the death of the movement's military chief, Salah Shehadeh, who was killed in an Israeli air strike in the Gaza Strip two weeks ago. Fifteen civilians, including nine children, were also killed in the strike.

"We can say for certain that it was a suicide bomber," Galilee police chief Yehuda Solomon told Channel One television.

Israel Radio reported that police are looking for two young women who got off the bus a short time before the blast occurred.

A spokesman for the Egged bus company, Ron Atner, said there were many IDF soldiers on the bus, which exploded as it was traveling near the entrance to the burial site of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yohai, frequently visited by Jewish worshippers.

"On Sunday morning... many of the passengers are soldiers on their way to bases in the north," said Atner who added that the bus, number 361, was travelling from Haifa to Safed. According to Egged, it left Haifa at 7:15 A.M.

"I picked up four dead myself," said Haim Ben-Shimon, a civilian at the scene of the blast. "The bus is simply crushed."

Another witness, Pinhas Cohen, said he was standing about 15 meters (yards) from the bus when the bomb went off. "The entire rear end of the bus was blown off," he said. "A soldier came out with his face and uniform covered with blood, and two Arabs from the nearby restaurant gave him first aid."

Dr. Oscar Enbon, director of the Rebecca Sieff Hospital in Safed, said that 26 wounded had reached the hospital, including nine in serious condition. Many were suffering from burns, he said.

The head of Magen David Adom, Avi Zohar, told Israel Radio that the evacuation of the wounded had been hampered by the fact that the site of blast was some distance from any medical facilities.

The attack comes four days after the bombing in the Frank Sinatra cafeteria at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, in which seven people were killed, including five Americans.

Israel said the Palestinian Authority, headed by Yasser Arafat, bore ultimate responsibility. "This attack on an Israeli civilian bus is another prime example of how the Palestinian Authority feeds on terror," said David Baker, an official in Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's office.

Israel Radio quoted a PA official saying that the attack was to be expected, given the ongoing IDF "terror" against Palestinians.
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