Bomb Rips Apart Israeli Bus in Haifa; 15 Dead

The first Palestinian suicide bombing in two months tore apart a packed Israeli bus in the port city of Haifa on Wednesday, killing at least 15 people and wounding about 40, police said.

The explosion ripped the roof off bus number 37, turned the vehicle into a charred wreck and hurled bodies out onto a main street at the entrance to the Carmeliya neighborhood in Israel’s third largest city.

The first suicide attack since Israel’s new rightist government was sworn in dealt a fresh blow to hopes of a breakthrough to end 2-1/2 years of violence and to U.S. hopes of calm in the region as it prepares for a possible war in Iraq. “My boss and I stepped out after lunch. We heard an enormous explosion. Body parts, hands, legs, glass and debris flew from the bus to right in front of the hairdresser salon,” said Michael Afuta, 20, who works at the nearby hairdresser’s. “The salon shook from the force. Glass broke, lights went out. I ran to the bus but I was so scared of another blast that after a few seconds I came back….It was horrific.” Full Story

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