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CNN BREAKING NEWS

Suicide Bombing in Seaside Town in Israel

Aired March 30, 2003 - 05:45   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: We have been falling this breaking news story for the last 45 minutes or so. A suicide bombing in the seaside town in the Israel Netanya, in a cafe. Apparently, at least 20 people wounded. That the last time we heard from Jerrold Kessel. Let's check in with Jerrold. We're looking at the first pictures we have seen of the area of the blast. Let's go to Jerrold Kessel in Jerusalem for an update. Jerrold, as we continue to look at these pictures, take it away.
JERROLD KESSEL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, all the wounded have been taken away to the nearby Laniado (ph) hospital in Netanya, just a short way away from this central street in the busy seaside town. Thirty people treated in hospital, four of whom are described as having sustained moderate or serious injuries. The rest, likely hurt. The only fatality is the of the suicide bomber himself. He apparently was stopped, this has not yet been absolutely confirmed, but eye witnesses say he was stopped or stopped himself and blew himself up outside at the entrance to the London Cafe, and as you see in the pictures, the forensic experts and the police on the scene quickly after.

The medical relief services have done their work, and speedily taken the wounded to hospital, assessing that most of the wounded were outside on the side, in the sidewalk cafe. They're part of the cafe outside. It's a pleasant spring day today after a long winter, and many people must have been outside on the, in the sidewalk part of the cafe, and only a few people inside who were actually injured. As I say, 30 people hurt and four of them reported into, to have sustained medium to serious injuries. No claim of responsibility yet for this attack, which took place just under an hour ago, before one o'clock local time. A reaction from Syberacaf (ph), the chief Palestinian negotiator telling CNN, we condemn this attack.

The Palestinian authority condemns all attacks on Palestinian or Israeli civilians, and urging the international quartet, the international community to go ahead and promote right away he says, the efforts to revive a peace process between Israelis' and Palestinians, to stop he says, these kinds of attacks. Anderson.

COOPER: Jerrold, just looking at these pictures, it always amazes me how quickly authorities move to clean up the area, to return life to some semblance of normalcy, when there has been an incident like this. When was the last time there was a suicide bombing in Israel?

KESSEL: There was an attack back in, at the beginning of March, three and half weeks ago up in the, another coastal town, the big port town of Hiefer (ph). There aboard a bus, which was a horrendous explosion. In fact, caused so many, 16 mainly young people, students and high school students who were killed, and dozens were wounded. And that was such a forceful attack that it really went against the grain that you rightly described of how quickly the Israeli authorities are able to try to get life back to normal. And that attack, when I was up there, I remember it took hours and hours for the wounded and the dead to be taken away, and for the forensic experts to get their handle on it. This seems to have been less of a blast, and that has meant that the all too unfortunately, all too experience medical relief services to have acted that speedily, got the wounded away within half an hour literally. Those who were needed to be treated urgently, on the spot, the others rushed away in the ambulances that sped to the scene back to hospital, and that allowed the police forensic experts to come in.

First thing that they do, make sure there are no other bombs, unexploded devices on the scene. Once that's been determined and ascertained, as you can see there, the police going about questioning people, trying to get evidence, and to take their forensic evidence to make sure that they can try and ascertain where the bomber might have come from, what kind of material he brought with him, if that can help in any way to stop further such attacks. Anderson.

COOPER: All right, Jerrold we're going to go to a break, but before we do, our graphic underneath these pictures, we're saying at least 20 wounded. The latest figure you had, I believe was 30. Is that correct?

KESSEL: Thirty indeed, who were treated in hospital, taken to hospital. Sometimes these numbers jump with people coming with shock, delayed reaction and so forth. Ambulatory wounded who were able themselves to hospital. But for the moment we've heard from the local hospital, and other medical relief services that 30 people were hurt; all but four likely hurt.

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