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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Huge Explosion in Tel Aviv

Aired December 11, 2003 - 05:52   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Just to update you again on that breaking news we have out of Israel, there's been a huge explosion in Tel Aviv on a busy shopping street. We believe 10 people have been injured and there may be people dead. Don't know if it's a terrorist attack just yet.
John Vause is on the scene and hopefully we'll get him up live for you in just a bit.

Again, an explosion in Tel Aviv injuring at least 10 people.

(INTERRUPTED BY WEATHER REPORT)

COSTELLO: We have John Vause now out of Tel Aviv. Is he on the scene? He's in Jerusalem. Let's see what he has to tell us -- hello, John.

What's going on there?

JOHN VAUSE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hi, Carol.

I don't know how much you've been telling your viewers about the events over the last few minutes, so I'll recap everything that we know here from Jerusalem about that blast in Tel Aviv.

Ambulance sources are telling CNN that at least 15 people have been wounded in this explosion, which was on the Allenby Road area in Tel Aviv, the downtown area, not far from the beach. It was at a cafe where this happened, a very busy part of Tel Aviv, near a money exchange, near restaurants, near cinemas, that kind of thing.

At this stage, the cause of the blast is unknown, but everyone is, of course, making the assumption at this stage that this is some kind of terrorist attack, especially since it's been just a number of days since groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad turned down the offer of a cease-fire in those talks in Cairo.

If this is, in fact, a terrorist attack, Carol, it will be the first terrorist attack in Israel since early October, when 21 people were killed in a suicide bombing in Haifa. It has been a period of relative calm. But the Israeli authorities are saying that's not because the militants and the terrorists haven't been trying, it's because they are being stopped.

So just to confirm what we know, 15 people, at least 15 people wounded. The Associated Press, as well as Israeli television, though, saying as many as three people, possibly more, have been killed -- Carol.

COSTELLO: All right, we're going to break you free so you can gather more information for us this morning.

John Vause reporting live from Jerusalem.

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