Jerusalem bus bomb blast injures 21
'There is no doubt that this was a terror attack,' police commissioner says
At least 21 people were injured after an explosion tore through a bus in Jerusalem on Monday and set a second bus on fire, in what an Israeli official said was a terror attack.
Images posted by Israeli media show fire and large plumes of smoke billowing from two burned-out buses on Derech Hebron, an area in southwest Jerusalem close to the boundary with the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
"There is no doubt that this was a terror attack," Jerusalem police commissioner Yoram Halevy said. He said it was too early to know the identity of the attacker or if it was a suicide bombing.
"We are investigating where the explosive device came from, who planted it, how it got on the bus. All this is in the initial stages of investigation," he said.
Israel Police spokesman Supt. Micky Rosenfeld confirmed on Twitter that an "explosive device" was responsible for the blast that injured 21 people in all.
Israeli police say this was first bomb attack on a bus since this wave of attacks against Israelis began. <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/cbc?src=hash">#cbc</a> <a href="https://t.co/Rp8pXIIOjc">pic.twitter.com/Rp8pXIIOjc</a>—@DerekStoffelCBC
The Magen David Adom emergency medical service said paramedics treated 16 people — two of them "severe," six with "moderate" injuries and another eight with "mild" injuries.
Rosenfeld said the two people who were seriously wounded were on board the bus that exploded, while the others had been in a nearby bus and car that were also damaged.
It was not clear how many people were on the bus at the time it exploded.
Israeli media said a man who was seriously injured and not carrying any identification papers was under investigation on suspicion he was responsible.
Update to explosion on bus in Jerusalem. Police bomb disposal experts confirm explosive devise went off on bus that caused 21 injuries.—@MickyRosenfeld
Attacks on Israeli buses by suicide bombers were a hallmark of the Palestinian uprising in 2000-2005 but have been rare since.
Monday's blast came as jittery Israelis prepared for the Passover holiday amid a wave of Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings. Over the last seven months, 28 Israelis and two Americans have been killed in Palestinian attacks, while at least 189 Palestinians have been killed. Israel says most of the Palestinians killed were attackers, with the rest killed in clashes with security forces.
Rosenfeld said things have been "relatively quiet" in Jerusalem in the past few weeks.
"We haven't seen any explosive devices that have been used over the last several months in the wave of attacks, stabbing attacks or vehicle ramming attacks that have taken place," he said.
With files from Reuters