Skip to main content
CNN.com /TRANSCRIPTS
CNN TV
EDITIONS
SERVICES
CNN TV
EDITIONS


CNN BREAKING NEWS

Two Explosions Rock Israel

Aired March 31, 2002 - 09:41   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.
MILES O'BRIEN, CNN ANCHOR: All right, bringing you up to date, a pair of explosions in Israel this morning East Coast time, this afternoon, Sunday afternoon, in Israel, once again ratcheting up the level of violence there in the Middle East as this crisis continues. In Haifa as many as 15 killed. Three dozen others injured, some of them very seriously when a suicide bomber walked into a crowded restaurant and blew himself up. We say him -- we don't know whether he or she just yet.

As a matter of fact, take that back. We do have an identity one of the groups that claimed responsibility indicated the identity and it is, in fact, a male. our Ben Wedeman has been traveling toward Haifa ever since events began to unfold in the first bit of news across the wires. He is there now. Ben, what do you see? What do you hear? What do you know?

BEN WEDEMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Miles, what I can tell you is this explosion really ripped the heart out of this restaurant in Haifa. The damage is incredible, that one person could bring in, could carry so powerful an explosive. It ripped the roof right off the building. The back wall seems to have more or less caved in. The entire insides of this restaurant called the Matza Center just completely destroyed. Now, the latest numbers that we're getting are approximately 15 dead, 38 people in hospitals, three of them in critical condition.

As you mentioned, this bombing has been claimed by the (UNINTELLIGIBLE) kassam (ph) Brigade. That's the armed wing of Hamas, the Islamic resistance movement based in the West Bank. Now, according to Israeli radio, the owner of this restaurant was an Israeli-Arab. Many of the workers in the restaurant were also Israeli-Arab. This town Haifa is a mixed city, normally a city where communal relations aren't too bad, but in this case obviously things are going to take a turn for the worse -- Miles?

O'BRIEN: Ben, are you -- are you right at the restaurant right now?

WEDEMAN: Yes, I am. I'm right in front of it. They've brought in a heavy dump truck to start to clear away the rubble. We're told there's still one body left inside.

But by and large right now, the investigators are here trying to sift through the wreckage, look for any bit of information that they might be able to find, scraps of the bomb or something like that. At the same time religious workers are here doing a fairly grizzly job of scraping the blood and body parts off the walls of this restaurant. This blast, as I said, was absolutely humongous-- Miles.

O'BRIEN: I'm often curious, Ben, especially in a place like this, where Israelis come to spend the weekend by the seashore, immediately around the restaurant, does life go on or has this city sort of shuttered itself up in the wake of this?

WEDEMAN: Well, it's basically the end of the working day here. People are coming back from work. So there's still a good deal of movement going on. The roads were full of cars. And we did see shops open. But by and large, not a lot of people out in the street. Same sort of thing we saw in Tel Aviv last night at that other bombing there, and people do have a tendency, when these thins happen, to head toward their homes -- Miles.

O'BRIEN: CNN's Ben Wedeman, who is there at the Matza Restaurant, where this, the fourth attack in five days occurred. We now apparently have a fifth attack to tell you about, all in the course of this morning. That one we now are telling you killed 15. Thirty-eight are in the hospital, three of them in critical condition, according to Ben Wedeman who is on the scene and we will, of course, be checking in with him as the morning progresses.

TO ORDER A VIDEO OF THIS TRANSCRIPT, PLEASE CALL 800-CNN-NEWS OR USE OUR SECURE ONLINE ORDER FORM LOCATED AT www.fdch.com





 
 
 
 


 Search   

Back to the top