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Suicide Bomber Kills One, Injures At Least 15 Others

Aired March 2, 2002 - 13:00   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
FREDRICKA WHITFIELD, CNN ANCHOR: Emergency crews are now on the scene in Jerusalem, where they're responding to a car bombing. Our own Jerrold Kessel is on the ground there and he has a report for us. Jerrold, what's going on there right now?

JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Fredricka, the Israeli police confirming another terror attack in the heart of Jerusalem. In what seemed to be a car bomb in the first instance, now the police believe that it is first their working premise that this was another suicide bombing, a Palestinian suicide bombing.

But either way it's a major explosion near the center of Jerusalem, at least one person dead. That's described by hospitals in the region to which the casualties have been taken, an 18-month-old baby, and at least 15 people hurt, many of them seriously, this according to the hospitals and medical relief services.

The explosion occurred just about an hour ago, just under an hour ago, as after dusk and as people were coming. This is an orthodox Jewish neighborhood, and as people were coming out of synagogue at the end of the Sabbath, the explosion took place, but the site of this explosion is very close to where a bunch of Arab neighborhoods are close to the Jewish neighborhoods on the western side of town. That's where the explosion came and it's now being looked into by the police, whether it was in fact a car bomb, or as now they presume, a suicide bomber.

And there was real pandemonium at the scene, as at least one car was on fire immediately, and that was what led to the supposition that this was a car bomb right away. But the initial reports now coming through, one person an 18-month-old baby killed and at least 15 people injured, many of them seriously.

Now this attack here in the center of Jerusalem, one of many in recent months (inaudible) comes after three days of an Israeli action into two refugee camps in the West Bank, and in the wake of that, the Israeli action which has so far resulted in at least 23 Palestinians killed, two Israeli soldiers killed in those actions, a very wide ranging sweep into those refugee camps.

Many Palestinian groups of (inaudible) have been saying that they would try to expand the retaliation against Israel, and now here comes this explosion in the heart of Jerusalem, a baby dead and some 15 people at least injured. Fredricka. WHITFIELD: There a number of people as you mentioned were coming out of synagogues at the end of Sabbath now. Any idea just how crowded that area might have been? Are witnesses or any authorities commenting on that just yet?

KESSEL: Yes, it was pretty crowded. This is an area, as I say, it's an orthodox Jewish neighborhood, fairly near the center of Jerusalem, and also fairly near the scene, which runs between the traditional Jewish neighborhoods and some of the Arab neighborhoods.

And that's why this area has been the target of a number of attacks over the last year by Palestinian militants, because it's relatively easy to cross that unwritten line, if you like, and undefined line in Jerusalem, and getting into the Jewish neighborhoods. And it was very, very crowded indeed as people were coming out, men, women, and children after the end of the Sabbath worship, and were on the streets when that explosion occurred. Fredricka.

WHITFIELD: All right, great job out of Jerusalem there.

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