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Bus Explosion Kills 10 in Jerusalem

Mideast: More than two dozen people are wounded in morning rush-hour blast.

June 18, 2002|From Times Wire Services

JERUSALEM — A blast tore through a bus here during morning rush hour today, killing 10 people and wounding at least 29, police and radio reports said.

Jerusalem Police Chief Mickey Levy and radio reports said the force of the blast ripped the bus apart at a crowded intersection.

Police had been on high alert since Monday, after receiving warnings that a suicide bomber was trying to carry out an attack in Jerusalem.

Today's violence came after witnesses and the Israeli military said soldiers shot and killed a prominent figure in a Palestinian militia in the Bethlehem area Monday.

Palestinians said Walid Sbeh was killed in his car in El Khader, near Bethlehem, as he was leaving the village.

Soldiers opened fire from an army base on a nearby hill, they said.

Sbeh was an activist in the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, a militia affiliated with Palestinian Authority President Yasser Arafat's Fatah movement, which has claimed responsibility for several attacks on Israelis.

Israeli military sources confirmed that Sbeh had been targeted and shot. The sources said Sbeh was responsible for sending Palestinian suicide bombers into Israel.

Three would-be bombers had implicated Sbeh, they said.

Also Monday, a Palestinian blew himself up in Israeli territory near the West Bank, killing only himself, and Israeli forces continued their pursuit of militants in Palestinian villages.

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