March 23, 2011

Jerusalem: Blast Strikes

A small device exploded outside Jerusalem’s central bus station on Wednesday, leaving at least 12 injured, according to Israeli emergency services.

The Israeli daily Haaretz reported that the bomb was strapped to a telephone poll near the stop, located outside the International Convention Center and across from the central bus station. Local news media reported that there was no sign of a body at the scene to indicate a suicide attack.

The explosion did not appear to be large enough to destroy nearby buses though it did blow out windows. Television images showed people carried away in stretchers.

“I heard the explosion in the bus stop,” Meir Hagid, a bus driver who was driving through the station when the blast occurred, told The Associated Press. He said nobody in his bus was hurt.

The explosion came amid rising tensions between Hamas and Israel, and appeared to be the first attack to strike inside Israel in some time.

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