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Three Explosions Rock Israeli Coastal CityAired January 1, 2001 - 1:11 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LOU WATERS, CNN ANCHOR: We have breaking news out of the Middle East at this hour: new violence on this New Year's Day. At least three explosions have rocked the Israeli coastal city of Netanya. You can see it located here. It's about 30 kilometers north of Tel Aviv, 50 clicks south of Jaffa. It's a center for tourists -- and industrial development center. There have been a series of explosions.
We're going to check in now with Jerusalem bureau chief Mike Hanna to tell us what this one's all about -- Mike.
MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Lou, latest reports indicate that 20 people have been injured in the explosions. However, hospital authorities say that 19 of them have received light injuries. One, however, is reported to be in a serious condition.
The fire chief of Netanya says there were at least three explosions in quick succession. It is not known at this particular point what was the source of the explosions or where the explosives were placed. However, an army spokesman says that there's a likelihood that it could have been a car bomb. Eyewitnesses said there was huge balls of smoke over the scene. Fire engines and ambulance workers rushed to the scene to evacuate the wounded.
The Israeli police cordoned off the area, conducting searches for any other explosive devices that may be in the vicinity. But at this particular point, according to hospital authorities, 20 people have been injured, 19 of them lightly. And one person is reported to be in a serious condition. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak has called an emergency meeting of his security cabinet to discuss what steps will be taken next, if any.
So, at this particular point, we have reports of an explosion -- at least three explosions, says one report, within quick succession of each other. Twenty people have been injured, one of them reported to be in a serious condition -- Lou.
WATERS: Mike, any sense of why Netanya, this beautiful coastal city, would be a target for any kind of a bomb?
HANNA: Well, absolutely no indication why Netanya would be a target for bombing, if indeed that is what it was. We're still waiting to find out the exact circumstances and what caused the explosion. However, in November, there was a bombing in the coastal town of Hadera. There's also been bombing in Jerusalem in the vicinity of the Mahane Yehuda, in the center of the city. There was a bombing last week in Tel Aviv aboard a bus. The nature of the targets, or why these particular targets are selected: not particularly clear.
However, we do know that Netanya is very close to the West Bank town of Tulkarem, which has been the scene of intense conflict and activity over the past 48 hours. But once again, no indication as to why Netanya, a coastal resort, a town visited by many tourists, should be a target for this bombing attack, if indeed a bombing attack is what it is -- Lou.
WATERS: All right, Mike Hanna, we'll continue to ask questions. We'll be getting back to you as we follow this story.
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