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Passover terror attack

by: Avi Cohen, Ynetnews - Last updated: 2006-04-17

Tel Aviv bombing

Tel Aviv bombing

Nine people have been killed after a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated himself at a crowded fast food stand near Tel Aviv's old central bus station, in the city's southern Neve Sha'anan neighborhood.

At least 65 people were wounded in the huge blast, which was heard kilometers away, including one person who is in criticial condition and nine others who sustained serious wounds.

The explosion occurred at around 1:30 p.m. at a shawarma stand, where a previous bombing took place. This time, however, the blast was much stronger.

Large police forces and Magen David Adom rescue teams were dispatched to the area. According to initial estimations, a suicide bomber who was sent by one of the terror organizations carried out the attack. He apparently entered the shawarma stand and detonated himself.

The Islamic Jihad rushed to claim responsibility for the attack, as well as Fatah's al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades.

A short while after the explosion, police forces began chasing a blue commercial Mitsubishi vehicle seen fleeing the area of the attack.

Yael Garti, who witnessed the explosion, told Ynet: "I saw people running in every direction. The shock was felt in neighboring buildings. Ambulances arrived within minutes. Many people gathered in the area."

The owner of a nearby store said that he is already used to the sounds of terror attacks, but that this time the explosion was extremely strong.

"When we left the store, we noticed a lot of injured people on the floor. We rushed back to the store and shut it down," he said.

Palestinian sources said that dozens of IDF vehicles entered Nablus immediately after reports of the terror attack in Tel Aviv took place. The IDF is carrying out searches in the area.

The previous terror attack at the area took place on January, when an Islamic Jihad suicide comber detonated himself next to the same shawarma stand, wounding 32 people.

Throughout the Passover holiday, security forces received severe security warnings. Very large amounts of forces were dispatched across the country, in central junctions and in entertainment venues. However, there was no concrete warning on an attack in southern Tel Aviv.

Immediately after the attack, security forces raised their alert level across the country.

Efrat Weiss contributed to the report

Reproduced with permission: Ynetnews