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Blast Hits Jerusalem Neighborhood; Minor Injuries ReportedAired February 8, 2001 - 10:41 a.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: If you've been with us, you know that we have developing news, breaking news coming out of Israel, out of Jerusalem.
And let's go back to Mike Hanna for more on that car bomb explosion -- Mike.
MIKE HANNA, CNN JERUSALEM BUREAU CHIEF: Well, we had an explosion in an Orthodox suburb in the middle of Jerusalem, a suburb called Mea Shearim. Police say that two people have been lightly injured in the explosion, an explosion that they say was probably a car bomb. The car in which the explosive device -- if it was such -- detonated completely destroyed, a number of cars parked next to it severely damaged.
A number of people were treated for shock, although, we are told by the fire chief and the police chief at this point, only two people were likely injured and there were no fatalities.
However the mood of the crowds in the area extremely angry. The residents of Mea Shearim are out in the streets demonstrating against what they see as yet another attack directed against Israelis.
The spokesman for the Likud Party, the party headed by Ariel Sharon, the prime minister-elect, has said that incidents such as this underline the need for a broad-based unity government to prevent a -- present a strong front in terms of dealings with the Palestinians in particular.
No group has yet claimed responsibility for this explosion. Two people reported to be likely injured. But, once again, an incident serving to remind that the tension in the region remains high; remind, too, of the challenges facing Ariel Sharon, the prime minister-elect who came to power with the promise that he would ensure security for the civilians of Israel.
Back to you.
KAGAN: Mike, do you think it's a matter of just luck that it was only two people who were lightly injured rather than more serious injuries and possibly fatalities, or was there some kind of warning before this car bomb went off?
HANNA: Very difficult to speculate at this particular point in time. Eyewitnesses said that there were two distinct explosions, although this has not been confirmed by police.
In previous bombings of this nature, there were -- and one similar type explosion where there were two detonations reported, there were light injuries on that occasion as well. And bomb experts subsequently said that the second device did not detonate properly.
Now, this is all speculation, though. No confirmation as yet exactly what the nature of this explosive device was. All we have is statements both from the fire chief and the head of the police that it was probably a car bomb. The lack of serious injuries or fatalities: no reason as yet as to why that is the case.
Back to you.
KAGAN: All right, Mike Hanna in Jerusalem, thank you very much.
More on that in just a bit.
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