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Bomb Blast Reported in Jerusalem SuburbAired February 8, 2001 - 10:27 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: In the meantime, those of you who are watching that coverage there, you may have noticed that along the bottom of the screen, we showed you some word that we're just getting into the CNN Center about an explosion in Jerusalem.
Let's go now CNN's Mike Hanna. He is standing by. He's got the very latest for us on this breaking story.
Mike, what have you learned?
MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, Leon, what has happened is there's been an explosion in a suburb in Jerusalem, an ultra-Orthodox suburb known as Mea Shearim. At this particular stage, police have confirmed that two people have been injured -- light injuries, though. A number of other people say police were treated for shock. However, no fatalities reported.
The police say that it was most probably a car bomb. The reports from the scene say that there were two -- possibly two -- explosions. The bomb -- the car itself is reported to be badly damaged; a number of cars alongside are also reported to be damaged. A CNN cameraman in the streets says that the mood in the area is exceedingly angry.
But at this particular point, though, two people likely injured in what police say was probably a car bomb blast in an Orthodox suburb in Jerusalem.
Reaction from the Likud Party, the party of Ariel Sharon, the prime Minister-elect -- a Likud Party spokesman says this underlines the need for a unity government, a government of national emergency to be formed, Ariel Sharon busy beginning coalition talks with the Labor Party to try and form a broad-based coalition.
However, from a Labor Party member, Chaim Ramon says that the incidents such as this underline the need for a lasting peace agreement to be signed with the Palestinians, saying such acts of violence will continue until an agreement is formed.
No claims of responsibility from any source. No absolute confirmation as to the nature of the explosive device in the car, although police and the fire chief on the scene say that it was most probably a car bomb.
But once again, to underline it: no fatalities, two people to be reported likely injured -- Leon.
HARRIS: Well, Mike, before we let you go, is there anything significant about this neighborhood that would give any sort of -- any more intelligence about this explosion?
HANNA: Well, no. Sharim is an ultra-Orthodox neighborhood very close to the center of Jerusalem. Attacks in the past against civilian targets, bomb attacks, have been, apparently, at random, in certainly random areas. there was last year a bomb fairly near the Mea Shearim neighborhood, in the Machna Yuda (ph) market, which has been a target of a very serious bomb attack a number of years ago.
However, no clarity as to why this bomb -- if indeed it was a car bomb -- was planted in this particular area. Mea Shearim, as I said, is an Orthodox Jewish neighborhood. Police are saying that two people are likely injured -- and I keep on stressing this: no fatalities reported -- Leon.
HARRIS: Understood. Mike Hanna, reporting live this morning from Jerusalem. We'll let you get back to your reporting and check back with you later to see if there are any other developments in that story.
It's half past the hour. We'll take a break right now, but when we come back, we'll take you up to Washington, Congressman Dan Burton's hearings in to the pardon granted to Marc Rich by President Bill Clinton. They're just getting underway. We'll dip in and check things out when we come back.
In the meantime, we want to show you the first pictures we're getting in here of the bombing just reported to you by Mike Hanna, from Jerusalem. As you can see there, they've, apparently, the officials have located the center of the bomb and of the bombing site. They are this neighborhood, this ultra-Orthodox neighborhood in Jerusalem, and they are now digging through -- it looks like they're digging through another car, perhaps, looking to see if there are any other devices there in that area.
Again, apparently, there was a fire before the explosion -- a number of explosions, two at least, we have heard of so far and only five people injured in this incident. But as you can see, it is an ugly scene.
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