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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Explosion in Jerusalem at Hebrew University

Aired July 31, 2002 - 06:52   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.
CAROL COSTELLO, CNN ANCHOR: Yes, we do have some breaking news to tell you about. Unfortunately, there's been another explosion in Israel, in Jerusalem at Hebrew University. We're getting this information from Israeli radio. Apparently the explosion went off at a restaurant at Hebrew University. We believe there are dozens of casualties there. And CNN has confirmed this is a terrorist attack.

We're trying to get Mike Hanna right now on the phone or live for you to give us more information. Of course, this explosion comes on the heels of a suicide bombing yesterday, which took place -- oh, we have Mike Hanna right now.

Let's go right to him to talk about this explosion at Hebrew University -- Mike, what can you tell us?

MIKE HANNA, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Well, within the last couple of minutes we've had reports of some kind of terror act, this is according to Israeli police, at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopis. First reports, according to police again, is that there are a number of casualties, as many as 30 people injured in this incident. The exact nature of the incident we're not clear about at the moment. The characterization of it in the first reports from the Israeli police is that it is a terror act.

A number of people are injured. The incident reportedly occurred in the cafeteria at the Hebrew University on Mount Scopis. We do understand that there are a number of injuries but we're waiting for details as to what the nature of the incident is, what caused this terror act, as it is characterized by the Israeli police.

This follows a suicide bomb explosion in Jerusalem within the last 24 hours in which there were no fatalities apart from the suicide bomber himself. There were seven Israelis injured in that blast. None of them received serious injuries.

This, in turn, was the first attack in Jerusalem for some six weeks. Although in Israel proper, wider Israel, there had been a suicide bomb attack in Tel Aviv some two weeks ago.

So we're still waiting to get further details as to exactly what is happening at the Hebrew University at Mount Scopis. The first reports we are receiving is that there has been, in the words of the Israeli police, a terror act, that there are a number of casualties. We heard in the distance large numbers of ambulances going to the scene. The incident took place in the cafeteria at the university, according to the initial reports. So we're waiting for more details and we'll bring them to you as they come in.

COSTELLO: Mike, can you tell us more about Hebrew University?

HANNA: Yes, Hebrew University is part of the wider Hebrew University in Jerusalem. It was established on that Mount Scopis campus following the 1967 War, when Israel occupied that area that is, had been part of -- under Jordanian control. That campus then established there way back at that time. It is a pretty large campus. So it's all sorts of facilities.

A number of Israeli Arabs, of course, also attend that university. At this particular time in the cafeteria, once again, we're looking at the lunch hour, precisely at the same time as the explosion happened in downtown Jerusalem 24 hours ago. So assumptions are that the cafeteria would have been full at this particular time.

This is where we understand the terror act, as it is being characterized, took place, in the cafeteria of the university, although we're still waiting for confirmation on that. We're also waiting for confirmation as to what exactly is the nature of this incident. As I'm saying, Israeli police at this stage simply saying it is a terror act, saying as well that there are a large number of casualties in this incident.

So we're waiting for more details on that.

COSTELLO: Yes, as many as 30.

Thank you.

Mike Hanna reporting live from Jerusalem this morning.

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