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The BBC's Orla Guerin reports from the scene
"Death and devastation in the middle of rush hour"
 real 56k

Ra'anan Gissin, Ariel Sharon's spokesman,
described the attack as 'another Bloody Sunday'
 real 56k

Hanan Ashrawi, Palestinian Legislative Council
"Targeting innocent civilians has to stop"
 real 56k

The BBC's Jeremy Cooke
"It's a huge problem to try and stop the violence"
 real 28k

Monday, 23 April, 2001, 00:11 GMT 01:11 UK
Palestinians admit suicide bombing
Israeli forensic police examine the area around the bombed bus
Israeli forensic police examine the area around the bombed bus
A Palestinian group, the Popular Army Front, has said it was behind a suicide bombing in which two people were killed and more than 40 injured in Israel.

Israeli police believe that one of those killed in the bus stop attack in the Israeli town of Kfar Saba, north of Tel Aviv, was the suicide bomber.

A PFA statement, which could not be verified, said the bombing fell near the anniversary of Israel's 16 April assassination in Tunis of Khalil al-Wazir, the Palestine Liberation Organisation's military chief, also known as Abu Jihad.

A spokesman for Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon said earlier that Yasser Arafat's Palestinian Authority bore full responsibility for the attack and said the culprits would "pay the price".

Kfar Saba has been the scene of a number of bombings recently
Raanan Gissin accused the Palestinian security forces of "aiding and abetting and supporting the terrorist activity".

The Palestinian Authority denied the charge.

"We reject the Israeli accusations that put responsibility on us for the explosion this morning at Kfar Saba," Tayeb Abdel Rahim, secretary of the Palestinian presidency, told the news agency AFP.

Rush hour bombing

The blast happened near a bus stop at about 0900 local time (0700GMT).

Eyewitnesses say the suicide bomber was trying to get onto a bus when he detonated the explosives.

I saw a lot of people lying on the ground and I saw people screaming ... I saw one man totally blown apart

"When the bus got to the stop, a suicide attacker stood next to it and activated a device," central district police commander Yehuda Bachar told Israel Radio.

No group has yet said it carried out the attack, but the Islamic militant organisation Hamas described it as an act of self-defence.

Hamas, which carried out a similar attack in Kfar Saba three weeks ago, on Friday threatened resistance to what it called Israeli occupation "by all available means".

Vulnerable town

Kfar Saba, near the West Bank, has been the site of several recent bombings.

Kfar Saba bombings
28 March: Suicide bomber and two teenagers killed in bus stop attack
14 April: One injured as two pipe bombs explode
22 April: Two killed in apparent suicide bombing at bus stop
A suicide bombing in the town on 28 March left three people - the bomber and two teenagers - dead and a number of schoolchildren injured.

One person was injured when two explosions struck the town eight days ago.

Israeli opposition leader Yossi Sarid postponed a planned meeting with Mr Arafat, originally scheduled for Sunday night, following the explosion.

"It's forbidden to let terrorists dictate our agenda, but when there are victims and injured, it is difficult to talk and one must take account of the grief," Mr Sarid told public radio.

Security talks overnight

The attack came shortly after a meeting between Israeli and Palestinian security officials ended with conflicting reports on whether progress had been made.

Israeli sources said they had reached agreement on putting in place new measures to end nearly seven months of violence.

But the chief Palestinian negotiator at the meeting, General Abdelrakez al-Mjaidada, said Israel's response to Palestinian concerns about territorial incursions was insufficient.

Shortly after the meeting, the badly beaten body of a Jewish settler was found in the West Bank town of Ramallah. Police believe the attack was politically motivated.

More than 460 people have died since the Palestinian uprising began last September - the vast majority of them Palestinians, but also at least 70 Israelis.

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See also:

22 Apr 01 | Middle East
Mid-East deadlock continues
28 Mar 01 | Middle East
Bomb stokes Mid-East tension
22 Apr 01 | Middle East
Saudi mufti condemns suicide bombs
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