Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Jerusalem blast leaves dozens injured

A loud explosion shook a busy street in Jerusalem on Wednesday, wounding nearly 30 people, authorities said.

There were no immediate reports of deaths in the first serious bombing in Jerusalem in four years, but several people were critically injured, authorities said.

Mayor Nir Barkat condemned the "cowardly terrorist attack" in which "innocent people were hurt."

The blast took place in "a very crowded area" with "a lot of civilians and two buses," said Yonatan Yagadovsky, a spokesman for Israel's emergency services.

"Three to four are in critical condition. The rest of the casualties are moderately to lightly injured," he said. The injuries came from both the force of the blast itself and from flying shrapnel, he said.

The wounded included two pregnant women, he said.

The terror attack comes after an unusually intense period of hostilities between Israel and the Palestinians. At least 10 Palestinians have been killed since Saturday, including four militants and two children who died in an Israeli strike that appears to have missed its target.

Police found a medium-sized explosive device attached to a phone booth near the site of a blast. It was close to Jerusalem's central bus station, Israeli medical services said. (read more)