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Bus Passengers Help Foil Suicide Bombing

October 10, 2002|BARBARA DEMICK | TIMES STAFF WRITER

JERUSALEM — Alert Israeli passengers prevented a Palestinian suicide bomber from boarding a bus near Tel Aviv this morning, but five people were injured when the bomber blew himself up as he was pursued.

The incident took place shortly before 8 a.m. in Bnei Brak, a religious suburb of Tel Aviv.

The bomber had attemped to board the bus through the back door, but passengers pushed him off and the driver closed the door, police said.

The driver, from the Dan Bus Co., and several passengers, including two soldiers, reportedly ripped open the suspect's shirt, revealing wires.

As police were trying to arrest the bomber, he detonated his device and was killed. Of the five injured, one was seriously wounded and four were moderately hurt.

The attempted attack took place in the midst of an Israeli crackdown on Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. In Gaza, 20 Palestinians have been killed this week, 17 of them in an Israeli incursion Monday morning in Khan Yunis that drew harsh rebukes from the international community. Overnight, Israeli forces swept through the West Bank, arresting more than 70 people.

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