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Thursday, 21 November, 2002, 12:39 GMT
'Where are my kids?'
Medics and volunteers remove a body from a bus hit by a suicide bomber
Rescue workers were on the scene quickly
A woman fought to break through a police cordon around the scene of a suicide bombing on a Jerusalem bus on Thursday morning.

"Let me through, I want to see the bodies. I'm sure he was in there!" she screamed, the French news agency AFP reported.


I'm waiting to see how many of my friends are dead

Meir Ohayon,
neighbourhood resident
It was two hours before the 32-year-old woman, identified only as Hayelet, learned that her brother had survived the bombing of bus number 20 and was in hospital with light injuries.

At least 11 people were killed and nearly 50 were wounded in the suicide bombing. Hospital officials said that at least half the injured were children on their way to school.

Calling for their mothers

Residents of Kiryat Menahem, the neighbourhood hit by the bombing ran out onto the street screaming "Where are my kids? Where are my kids?"

An eyewitness reported hearing survivors crying "Mamma! Mamma!" from inside the wreckage.

Yitzhak Cohen was riding on the bus when the blast occurred at 0715 local time (0515 GMT), during the morning rush hour.

"Suddenly there was a huge explosion. Something fell on my head and I fell to the floor. Around me there were bodies everywhere, some of them lying one on top of the other," he told the Reuters news agency.

Forceful blast

The force of the blast splattered blood and human remains on a wall some 30 metres (100 feet) from the explosion.

An injured woman is taken from the scene of the Jerusalem bus bombing
Nearly 50 were injured
The ground around the ruined bus was littered with schoolbooks and sandwiches.

"I've lived in this neighbourhood for 42-years and I'm waiting to see how many of my friends are dead," resident Meir Ohayon told AFP.

The body of the bomber - believed to be a man in his early 20s who entered Jerusalem from Bethlehem - was so mangled in the explosion that police were initially unable to say if he was carrying the bomb in a bag or if it was strapped to his body.

The attack on Thursday was the first fatal bombing in Jerusalem since 31 July, when seven people were killed at the Hebrew University. It is the deadliest since June 18, when 19 civilians died in a suicide attack.

Palestinian militants have been carrying out a campaign of suicide bombings - which human rights groups have condemned as war crimes - and other attacks on Israeli targets during their two-year-old uprising.


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18 Jul 02 | Middle East
18 Jun 02 | Middle East
24 Jun 02 | Middle East
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