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Friday, 29 March, 2002, 15:01 GMT
Eyewitness: Jerusalem supermarket bomb
Supermarket bomb scene
The bomber is believed to have been challenged by a guard
Jerusalem's SuperSol supermarket was filled with last-minute shoppers stocking up for the Jewish Sabbath when the suicide bomber struck.

At least 19 people were hurt and three people, including the bomber, killed in the blast at a shopping mall in the Kiryat Yovel neighbourhood of Jerusalem.

Witnesses described scenes of carnage in which much of the large supermarket was destroyed.

One shopper said: "The blast was huge. She (the bomber) was a few metres from the entrance inside".

Another witness, Hanna Cohen, said she had been about to enter the store when there was "a huge blast, and I saw people flying all around, arms and legs".

One man, who arrived just after the explosion, described what he saw in an interview with Israel Radio.

"I got there two minutes afterwards. It was a horrible scene," he said, having given his name as Moshe.

A medic carries a child victim
A suicide bombing in Netanya on Wednesday killed 20
He said two dead bodies were at the entrance, apparently those of the bomber and a guard who tried to stop her.

"I understood that the guard did not let the terrorist in, and they were blown up together," he said.

Israeli television reported that the security guard had tried to chase the suicide bomber from the supermarket.

"Between one and two o'clock, there was a policeman inside the supermarket and one outside, just one metre separating the two of them. One was checking people who looked suspicious outside and the other, just inside the supermarket, had a metal detector," said one witness.

Israeli television said the bomber detonated an explosives belt she was wearing. It said she was also carrying a mortar shell in her handbag, but it failed to explode.

In the aftermath of the attack, as medical teams tried to help the injured and police began to seal of the area, a man sat on the steps outside the shopping centre, crying and hugging two small children.

The BBC's Nick Childs in Jerusalem
"Tensions here are very high"
See also:

29 Mar 02 | Middle East
Bomb carnage in Jerusalem mall
28 Mar 02 | Middle East
In pictures: Netanya suicide attack
28 Mar 02 | Middle East
Eyewitness: Netanya bombing
21 Mar 02 | Middle East
Israel's history of bomb blasts
02 Dec 01 | profiles
Who are the suicide bombers?
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