CNN BREAKING NEWS
Bomber Strikes Bus on Crowded Street
Aired September 19, 2002 - 08:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: Let's go to our breaking news out of Israel. There are reports of dozens of casualties, including several killed, after a bombing on a bus in Tel Aviv on a crowded avenue during the lunch hour.
Let's go now to Jerrold Kessel, who joins us from Jerusalem with the very latest -- Jerrold, what do you have?
JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Paula, morning to you.
And five people have been killed by a suicide bomber. The Israeli police saying it was a suicide bomber aboard a crowded bus in downtown Tel Aviv, in the heart of a commercial and shopping district in busy Allenby Street. That's the equivalent of Main Street in any U.S. city. And of the, some 60 people who have been taken to hospital for treatment there, a number are reported in serious condition. Two, indeed, reported in critical condition, life threatening injuries.
The attack took place just at about 1:00 at the busy, during the busy lunch hour. Crowded bus, bus number four. And the Israeli police chief saying the that bus driver may have prevented an even further disaster because it seems that the bomber exploded his explosives, the bomb that he had with him went off just as he boarded the bus and the police chief says perhaps from the early inquiries that the driver stopped him as he boarded the bus, stopped him with his own body. The driver, in fact, was among the five people killed aboard that bus.
This is the second successive day in which there's been a suicide bombing in Israel. Yesterday in a northern town a man was apparently planning to board an inter-city bus but was stopped at the bus stop by a policeman who approached him. The man, then that suicide bomber blew himself up there, killing the policeman, wounding three other people at the bus stop.
And the Israeli police chief had said this morning just before this latest terror outrage in the heart of Tel Aviv that contrary to the impression, where there had been, indeed, more than five weeks when there had been no suicide bombings inside Israeli cities and inside Israel, this was not for want of trying by the various militant Palestinian organizations and that Israel almost had to be grateful for the fact that every day that went by that there wasn't an attack.
Now, two days in a row attacks and the latest, five people killed and some 60 wounded -- Paula. ZAHN: Jerrold, very quickly, counter charges and charges coming from the Israeli government towards the Palestinians and back. The Palestinians saying that they can't control the Palestinian Authority because the Israelis are holding them in prison and the Israelis saying that's nonsense, if you really wanted to clamp down on your security forces, you would.
Just a quick thought on that for us this morning.
KESSEL: Interesting position being taken. The Palestinian Authority condemning this attack, as it always does, it says of civilians, but not going absolute and saying all such attacks would be, should be eradicated. The Palestinians in a sense are at the stage of trying to draw the lines of where such attacks should be carried out, if they should be carried out at all, inside Israel, inside only the occupied West Bank and Gaza.
The Israelis saying there should be, of course, no attacks at all, and saying something more pertinent. While they condemn the Palestinian Authority they also say that the militant groups there apparently have another agenda. They want, say the Israeli officials, to try to deflect attention back here to the Israel-Palestinian conflict in a bid to head off any U.S. action in Iraq. That's the line the Israeli officials are taking about this latest surge of terror activities -- Paula.
ZAHN: Thanks, Jerrold.
We'll be coming back to you throughout the morning.
Appreciate the update.
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