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Eilat terror attack

by: Meir Ohayon, - Last updated: 2007-01-29

Eilat attack

Eilat attack

Three people were killed and two others were critically wounded Monday morning in an suicide bombing attack that rocked a shopping area located in Eilat's Izidor neighbourhood.

Police confirmed that a suicide bomber blew himself up in a bakery in the neighbourhood that was bustling with shoppers at the time, dispelling earlier reports that the blast was caused by a gas cylinder.

Two Palestinian groups, the Islamic Jihad and the al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades - the military wing of President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah faction - claimed joint responsibility for the attack. However, Fatah spokesman Ahmad Abdul Rahman condemned the violence, saying, "We are against any operation that targets civilians, Israelis or Palestinians."

An Islamic Jihad official told the Associated Press that the suicide bomber came from the West Bank but fell short of naming the terrorist.

"There were four bodies at the scene, one of which belonged to the suicide bomber … The scene was terrifying," a Magen David Adom paramedic told Ynet.

The attack prompted the Israel Police to raise the level of alert nationwide, amid fears that more suicide bombers could be hiding in Eilat.

Eilat District police commander Bruno Stein said: "This is an extremely serious incident which requires us to think fast. We have boosted our forces' presence in the city and are working on finding out who stands behind the bombing. Our assumption is that it's not one bomber, and there might be more bombers in Eilat right now."

The bombing is the first to strike the southernmost resort city and the first to hit Israel since last April, when a suicide bomber blew himself up near Tel Aviv's old bus station, killing eight people.

Reproduced with permission: Ynet