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  Explosion Kills Bomber in Tel Aviv

By Dan Perry
Associated Press Writer
Friday, June 1, 2001; 5:30 p.m. EDT

TEL AVIV, Israel –– An explosion late Friday on a crowded beach front in Tel Aviv killed a suicide bomber who had mingled with young people outside a disco, Israel media reported. Hospital officials said at least 28 people were wounded, five seriously.

The area is lined with coffee shops and restaurants and was packed with Israelis enjoying the start of their Sabbath weekend.

Israel TV said the explosion occurred near the nightclub Pansha, not far from the aquarium on a beachside boardwalk. A witness told Israel Radio that a the bomber had stood with a group of young people waiting to get in.

A 20-year-old woman who gave her name only as Vered said, "We were right across the street. We heard a huge explosion, and we ran away."

Another witness told Israel Radio "I saw people fly through the air. There were lots of wounded."

Helicopters hovered overhead. Thirty ambulances raced to the scene of the blast, which occurred about 11 p.m.

The bloodstained gloves of paramedics on the sidewalk along with personal effects left by those who were injured.

Panicked drivers raced away from the scene at high speed.

There was no immediate word on who carried out the attack, but in recent months of Israeli and Palestinian fighting, Islamic militants have detonated more than a dozen bombs.

The Islamic militant group Hamas has said it would carry out at least 10 suicide bombings and so far has claimed responsibility for eight.

Israel security forces have been on high alert but have been unable to block the border with the West Bank to prevent infiltration.

© Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

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