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News and views on Israel, Zionism and the war on terrorism.

March 30, 2003

Suicide Attack Wounds 30 on Israel Coast

This has just taken place, says Yahoo news

NETANYA, Israel - An Islamic militant blew himself up in a crowded pedestrian mall in the Israeli coastal town of Netanya on Sunday, wounding 30 bystanders in the first such attack in nearly a month.

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility.

The assailant's motives were not immediately known, but Israeli officials said that since the start of the U.S.-led offensive against Iraq (news - web sites) 10 days ago, they've been on high alert for a fresh wave of bombings by Palestinian militants.

The blast went off shortly before 1 p.m. near Cafe London, an outdoor coffee shop along Netanya's crowded pedestrian mall. A security guard prevented the bomber from entering the cafe, and the assailant instead blew himself up near a group of soldiers standing outside, police and witnesses said.

"There was a huge explosion," said a worker at a nearby restaurant who would only give his first name, Herzl. "I saw two soldiers thrown to the ground and the terrorist ripped to pieces at the entrance."

At least six of the wounded were in serious condition, hospital officials said.

The bomber's mangled body lay on the pavement. In a telephone call to The Associated Press, the Islamic Jihad group said the assailant was from the West Bank city of Nablus, but would not give his name.[more]