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At Least Eleven Israelis Injured in Three Tel Aviv Blasts

Aired December 28, 2000 - 6:37 a.m. ET


LINDA STOUFFER, CNN ANCHOR: We're following a breaking story for you now, and we have our first pictures out of Israel, after an explosion on a bus in Tel Aviv. These are the first pictures we're getting in from there.

As we understand it at this point, there were actually three explosions in and around a bus in Tel Aviv. The total we have: 11 people injured in those explosions. As we understand it, one of those people was injured seriously; as many as four were just lightly injured. But again, a total of 11 Israelis injured in what looks to be a total of three explosions in and around a bus in Tel Aviv, in Israel. These are the first pictures we're getting in from that area.

Again, this was to be a day where some hopes for progress were hanging over the Middle East, because Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak was set to meet with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat today in Egypt. That meeting was -- those plans, anyway were called off. Ehud Barak did not travel to Egypt for that meeting. However, Yasser Arafat was meeting earlier today in Cairo with the Egyptian president.

And these are, actually, live pictures we're looking at now, out of Tel Aviv, as police try to piece together what exactly happened. This did happen just a short while ago, so at this point, we have no information about who or perhaps what group may have been responsible for the explosions. But as we know it now, a total of three explosions in and around a bus in Tel Aviv in Israel.

Initially, we had reports of only a few people injured, but the total we have at this point is 11 people injured. One of the people injured is said to be injured very seriously.

Police have been looking for other devices nearby. Initially, just one was found, but a total of three found, as we understand it now.

This is a very dicey period for the Middle East, as hopes for a peace process have erupted to gunfire over and over again in the last few months -- well over 100 people killed in fighting there in recent days and weeks.

Again, these are live pictures out of Tel Aviv, Israel, where there were explosions this morning in and around a bus in Tel Aviv.

You can see police in the area there. And we are just beginning to get more details on this. Again, it is not clear who might be responsible for all of this.

Can see someone on the ground there, perhaps looking for more devices, examining the wreckage there, after these explosions today.

OK, apparently our signal has stopped, it's frozen there. We had been looking at live pictures.

At least 11 people injured in these explosions there today, one of them seriously.

Now, as for the implications of all of this, how the Israeli public may react to all of this, how that may play into the larger process of Middle East peace, all of that is unclear, as this is just developing right now.

We've been speaking with our Matthew Chance, who's been in who has been in Jerusalem. We're hoping to hook up with him in just a bit, to get the latest details as he has them now, out of Israel.

You can see officials there.

All right, I'm being told we will have Matthew Chance out of Jerusalem in just a few moments -- and we'll continue to look at these live pictures.

Excuse me, but these are taped pictures, as I understand them now.

Again, our Matthew Chance is live in Jerusalem. We'll go to him in just a minute to talk a little bit more about the implications of all of this.

Three explosions today in and around a bus in Tel Aviv.

We understand we have Matthew Chance now, in Jerusalem.

Matthew, I know you've been working this story, trying to get details together. What can you tell us, to update us on this situation right now?

Matthew Chance, are you there?

All right, some technical problems.

What we want to do right now is welcome our viewers around the world. Our sister network, CNN International, following this story as well. We welcome them to our coverage.

And I was told we have Matthew Chance, from Jerusalem.

Matthew, can you hear me now? It's Linda Stouffer, in Atlanta.

All right, we're, apparently, having some technical problems and are not able to hook up with Matthew Chance. We plan to do that for you in just a moment, but now that we have our international viewers with us, I want to give you a quick recap of the details as we know them now.

Again, a short while ago: three explosions in and around a bus in Tel Aviv, in Israel. The totals we have right now: 11 people injured in those explosions; as we are told, one of the people -- one of the persons who was injured -- was injured very seriously. We understand as many as four of the people injured were injured very lightly. But again, a total of 11 people injured in this.

At this point, we have no word of any deaths out of these explosions, but a total of 11 people injured in, as I mentioned, three explosions in and around a bus.

Now these are pictures from a little bit earlier we're showing now. And just to recap what was to have happened today, at Sharm el- Sheikh, in Egypt -- a resort town there -- the Israeli prime minister, Ehud Barak, was set to sit down face-to-face for meetings with Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, as they talked about details of a peace proposal put on the table by U.S. President Bill Clinton.

However, that meeting in Egypt did not happen. The Israeli prime minister did not go to Egypt at all. However, Yasser Arafat did sit down with Egypt's president to talk about some of those details and get reaction.

There is no plan in place for a future meeting with Ehud Barak and Yasser Arafat. And again, after those developments came to light, this happened. The explosions in Tel Aviv.

Three explosions in and around a bus, eleven people injured, from what we know right now. One of those people injured very seriously, but at this point, we have no word on any deaths out of these explosions. However, the implications of all of this are unclear because we do not know who was responsible for the explosions.

We're just beginning to get reaction to what happened today in Tel Aviv.

We are continuing to follow this and get all the details we can for you. We plan to bring that to you as soon as we can. We were hoping to hook up with our correspondent in Jerusalem, but we're having a little bit of technical issues with that. So as soon as we can bring Matthew Chance into the picture, to fill us in on what he has been able to gather out of Jerusalem, we will do that for you right away.



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