Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Suicide Bomb Woman Hits Israeli Shopping Mall as UK Put on Alert

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Suicide Bomb Woman Hits Israeli Shopping Mall as UK Put on Alert

Article excerpt

Byline: HUMFREY HUNTER;JUSTIN DAVENPORT

A SUICIDE bomber struck in an Israeli shopping mall today killing at least four people and wounding 20, only hours after another suicide bomber blew himself up and injured three soldiers in Gaza.

The shopping mall bomb was in the northern city of Afula. It was the fifth bombing in two days.

"Our people are there treating the wounded," Israeli rescue services worker Doron Kotler told Army Radio.

He said the explosion occurred at 2.14pm British time at the entrance of the shopping centre.

Army Radio reported that the bomber was a woman, and that she had died in the blast. Rescue workers said the number of wounded could grow, and that five of those being treated had been seriously injured.

Earlier today a Palestinian suicide bomber on a bicycle killed himself and injured three soldiers today near a Jewish settlement in central Gaza.

The cyclist stopped near an army jeep and detonated the explosives packed on the back of his bike. The Israeli area commander said the soldiers were only slightly hurt. Militant Islamic movement Hamas claimed responsibility both for the bicycle attack and another one yesterday in which a bomber blew himself up on a Jerusalem bus, killing seven passengers.

The Israeli army was ordered to seal off the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Today's attacks came within hours of Israeli leader Ariel Sharon's meeting with the new Palestinian prime minister, Mahmoud Abbas.

The bombings have underscored how difficult it will be to carry out the USbacked "road map" plan for ending violence and setting up a Palestinian state by 2005.

Meanwhile, an urgent review of possible terror targets in Britain was under way today as a top police officer said the country was "very lucky" to have escaped suicide bombings. Senior officers are reassessing possible targets for suicide attacks "in every town and city" as a result of the bombings in recent days of Riyadh and Casablanca. …

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