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Suicide Bombing in Central Jerusalem

Aired July 30, 2002 - 07:01   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.
BILL HEMMER, CNN ANCHOR: The Middle East situation again, a story developing right now, still developing this morning in Jerusalem. A bomb blast there in central Jerusalem right around lunchtime, the apparent work of a suicide bomber.

Our bureau chief there, Mike Hanna, has the very latest now on this live report.

Mike -- I know the information is new and fresh and still coming in. What more can you tell us now? Good morning.

MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well, Bill, the picture appears to be complete at this stage. Police are characterizing this as a lucky escape.

They say that a man that they thought was suspicious was seen walking in downtown Jerusalem. They attempted to apprehend him, to search him. He ran away, and he detonated an explosive device outside a fast-food store in Hanevi'im Street. This is a street that runs parallel to Jaffa -- Jaffa, the major arterial road through the heart of downtown Jerusalem.

Now, no serious injuries reported among Israelis in the blast. Police are saying that three people were lightly injured, one person was moderately injured, a total of four injuries in the blast. The suicide bomber himself died in the explosion.

Now, police saying this is a lucky escape, because they intercepted the man they believe that he may have been on his way further into the heart of Jerusalem towards Zion Square right in the middle -- right on Jaffa Road, which would be intensely crowded at around half past 1:00 Jerusalem time on this day, obviously, lunch hour, lots of people out in the streets.

But they believe that by intercepting him, the bomb happened to perhaps detonate prematurely without the full impact, and certainly at this stage, police saying a lucky escape. Four people injured, no serious injuries, the only death, that of the suicide bomber -- Bill.

HEMMER: Mike, thank you -- Mike Hanna again our bureau chief in Jerusalem tracking the very latest on that. And we shall watch that quite closely throughout the morning here.

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