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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Blast Rocks Jerusalem University

Aired July 31, 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.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: We're going to go straight back to our top story this morning, and that is an explosion in Jerusalem.

Let's go to Mike Hanna, who is standing by with the very latest.

Good morning -- Mike. What have you learned?

MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well, good morning, Paula.

At this stage, we cannot confirm that this was an explosion. What we have from police is that some kind of terror attack has taken place on the campus of the Hebrew University in Mount Scopus in Jerusalem.

The first reports saying that at least 30 people have been injured in this attack. It's vacation -- summer vacation at present, but there were still reports of the large number of people on the campus. There are all sorts of summer programs taking place at this time of the year. Once again, at the time of the day, lunchtime, Jerusalem time, 2:00 in the afternoon here our time.

This 24 hours after another suicide bomb attack in Jerusalem, with no fatalities, apart from the suicide bomber, seven Israelis, though, likely injured in that attack.

But now we are receiving news of some kind of terror act, according to Israeli police. The exact nature of what this act is, we are still waiting for further details on. The exact number of fatalities, if there are, we are still waiting for, although we are hearing from medical sources at the scene that as many as 30 people have been injured in this incident.

We also understand that the attack took place at a cafeteria on the campus. There are a large number of cafeterias on this particular campus. However, this particular place, where the incident is said to have taken place, is in a tucked-away area of the campus, just off the side of the amphitheater there. And we are receiving reports on the ground that it's very difficult for rescue teams to get through the campus, through the sometimes narrow access roads down to the area where the incident, whatever the incident is, took place.

Still waiting for confirmation from Israeli police as to exactly what is the nature of this action. We do understand from police, though, they are characterizing it as a terrorist attack, and they are saying that a large number of people are injured, perhaps as many as 30 at this stage -- Paula.

ZAHN: Help us understand the geography a little bit better here this morning, Mike. This university sits in an area that borders Arab East Jerusalem and West Jerusalem, right?

HANNA: That's quite correct, Paula. The campus itself is built on land that was conquered by Israel in the 1967 War. It had, up to that stage, been controlled by Jordan, having occupied this land, and Israel (UNINTELLIGIBLE) claims has next (ph) to this land to Jerusalem Proper.

The Hebrew University, the campus of the university was built on this land shortly after that '67 War, and it is, indeed, as it stands at present, right on the apex of West-East Jerusalem. It is, in fact, as all of the maps are concerned, and the line -- that old '67 line falls into East Jerusalem, but it is an area that Israel claims to have annexed; this a matter of some dispute.

But the number of casualties, we are still hearing in the region of 30. No confirmation yet as to the exact nature of this act -- Paula.

ZAHN: Mike Hanna, thanks for the update. We'll get back to you as soon as more information becomes available.

As he was talking, it became a little clearer from Israelis officials, Bill, that classes were not in session at the time, but as Mike explained, there is a lot of activity on campus during the summer. People were taking exams, people were eating lunches in various cafeterias on campus.

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