CNN BREAKING NEWS
Israeli Plane, Hotel in Kenya Targeted by Terrorists
Aired November 28, 2002 - 06:40 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
CATHERINE CALLAWAY, CNN ANCHOR: And Mike Hanna still with us in Jerusalem.
Mike, we know that that plane with 261 passengers landed safely there in Tel Aviv. They were not even aware that the attack on the plane or the hotel had occurred. And we also understand, Mike, that Israeli military jets escorted aircraft -- escorted this plane to the airport in Tel Aviv.
MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well my CNN colleague, Matthew Chance, has been talking to people aboard that plane as it arrived, and they did make clear that nothing had been told to them as to what happened until shortly before the aircraft landed at Israel's Ben Gurion Airport. Some of the passengers said that they'd been told -- they noticed something amiss and they'd been told that a bird had flown into the engine. However, it was only shortly before the plane actually landed that they were told that, first of all, there had been the possibility of missiles fired at the plane and secondly, that there had been a major bomb attack on the hotel in Mombasa there.
Now not all of the more than 200 Israelis onboard that charter aircraft had been staying at the Paradise Hotel specifically, which is where the attack took place, but they had been staying -- some of them had been at the hotel, others had been staying in hotels in the vicinity. So for the passengers aboard that plane, certainly great concern and great relief at the fact that they arrived back safely.
CALLAWAY: Interesting enough, the Kenyan's ambassador to Israel is already blaming al Qaeda, saying it's up to al Qaeda now to deny that they are responsible for these reports. But we talked with Ron Prosor the -- with the Israeli Foreign Ministry. He is, of course, not blaming anyone yet. What is being said there where you are? What are the reports that are coming out on these attacks?
HANNA: Well we have the same reports as you from the Israeli Foreign Ministry that it is not the point or the right time at which to start portioning blame here or pointing out. Israel certainly needs more information, which no doubt it is gathering all the time. This is no doubt one of the things as well that will be discussed at the meeting between Ariel Sharon and his security advisers in the course of the afternoon.
The statement by Kenyan's ambassador to Israel was very soon after the attack, and he was absolutely adamant that al Qaeda are responsible. But Israel's Foreign Ministry and Israeli government at the moment not pointing fingers as yet, saying that it's still reviewing all the details of these attacks. CALLAWAY: All right, Mike Hanna, thank you very much in Jerusalem.
Now of course this tragedy or these events are tragedies not only for Israelis but for Kenyans alike. As we've told you, a majority of those killed in this car bomb explosion at the Paradise Hotel were apparently Kenyans. We're going to play you a little bit now of what's being said there on Kenyan television about this explosion.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They were all covered with dust. And look at her, her face is still -- we cleaned her, but she's still -- she's still with a lot of dust.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you think that there are any people trapped inside right now?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Now, I don't think so. I just -- not from our group, and the local maybe.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Maybe, because the fire started very quickly. That's why we got out. We took our stuff and run to the sea because we told that it's not a fire that anyone could stop such this fire. It build up inside. It (UNINTELLIGIBLE).
(END VIDEO CLIP)
CALLAWAY: And that was some video from Kenyan television from victims there at the Paradise Hotel.
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