Thursday, Mar 06, 2003
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By Atul Aneja
Fifteen of those wounded are in a serious condition. A lone suicide bomber is believed to be behind the attack which blew up the roof of the bus heading for the Haifa university.
Today's attack comes after a gap of nearly two months when 23 people were killed in twin suicide explosions in Tel Aviv. Israeli security officials said that they had received 50 active warnings of planned and impending attacks and nearly 40 possible attempts had been foiled during February. An official from Israeli Prime Minister's office said that " Israel will not tolerate this terror, and will continue to take the necessary steps to eradicate it.''
A suicide bomber blew himself up aboard a crowded bus in this northern city on Wednesday.
The bomb, one of the most powerful used in such attacks, ripped off the roof of the No. 37 bus, strewing wreckage and body parts across the street.
The drivertold Army Radio the bus exploded as he stopped at a station and opened the doors to let passengers off. ``I suddenly heard an explosion,'' he said as he was being treated at Carmel Hospital. ``I tried to move, to see if there were wounded ... I couldn't hear anything because of the force of the blast.''
The bus had just stopped in the hilltop neighbourhood Carmelia at about 2:17 p.m. Because of the hour, the bus was packed with students from the nearby University of Haifa, officials said.
There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the blast, which comes as Israel's new hardline government is pressing ahead with a two-week-old offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza, and as the Palestinian Authority is considering far-reaching reforms.
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