Three bombings rock Mideast
TEL AVIV, Israel -- Three separate bombings rocked the Middle East on Monday, a day after a suicide bomber in Kfar Saba killed himself and an Israeli doctor.
The latest blast came in Or Yehuda on the outskirts southeast of Tel Aviv. Israel Radio reported that a car bomb had gone off near the town's market and two people were injured. No other details were known.
Israeli officials blamed Palestinian militants for the two earlier bombings.
One bombing was near a bus in the West Bank early Monday, but nobody was injured, an Israeli army press officer said.
The spokeswoman said the device had been activated close to the Jewish settlement of Ariel.
In an earlier incident, three Israeli police officers were slightly hurt when trying to clear people from an area in the Israeli northern coastal city of Haifa after a member of the public reported a suspicious bag.
There was no immediate response from Palestinian officials.
The bombings come after one person was killed and 39 others injured from a suicide bomb attack on Sunday in suburban Kfar Saba, northeast of Tel Aviv, as a crowd waited for a bus into the city.
"The bomber was waiting for the bus," a witness told CNN. "Many people were waiting at the stop. As the bus pulled in, he simply blew himself up. It was a massive blast."
Israeli officials said a 53-year-old doctor died along with the bomber in the attack.
Israel has been on high alert for months for possible bombings and suicide attacks by militants amid Palestinian unrest in Gaza and the West Bank.
Kfar Saba, about 20 kilometers (12 miles) north of Tel Aviv, is near Israel's border with the West Bank and has been a frequent target of Palestinian militant attacks.
Militant Islamic groups have claimed responsibility for previous blasts in Israeli towns. There was no immediate claim of responsibility for Sunday's attack.
But Ra'anan Gissin, a spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, said blame for the attack "lies squarely on the shoulders of the Palestinian Authority." The accusation brought a swift denial from Tayeb Abdel Rahim, a top aide to Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat.
"The Palestinian Authority rejects Israeli accusations that it is responsible for the explosion," Rahim said.
Ziad Abu Zayyad, a Palestinian Cabinet minister, said the Palestinian Authority condemns "any attack on civilians, whether they are Israeli or Palestinian." But he said Israeli attacks on Palestinian towns are "encouraging extremism and violence."
The bomb went off after a meeting Saturday night between Israeli and Palestinian security officials, under U.S. prodding, with hopes that the talks could lead to a resumption of high-level contacts between the two sides.
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