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Last Updated: Wednesday, 1 September, 2004, 12:21 GMT 13:21 UK
Israel blows up bombers' homes
Israeli police officers and rescue workers carry a body away from the site of the Beersheba bombing
Sixteen were killed and more than 80 wounded in the attack
The Israeli army has destroyed the houses of two men named as the perpetrators of suicide attacks in Beersheba on Tuesday, which killed 16.

Troops sealed off the West Bank city of Hebron, where the houses are located.

Palestinian militant group Hamas has said it carried out the attacks to avenge Israel's assassination of two of its leaders.

The Palestinian Authority has condemned the attacks - the first suicide bombings in Israel since March.

But in Gaza, many Hamas supporters celebrated.

Overnight, troops surrounded the family homes of the two 22-year-old men named as the bombers by Hamas.

We will fight this terror with all our might
Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon
Reports say Israeli forces were preparing to blow up the home of the second bomber.

The Israeli Prime Minister, Ariel Sharon, held three hours of talks with military commanders.

In a statement released by his office, he said he would fight Palestinian terror with all forces available.

Security sources in Israel say they are determined to destroy the leadership of the Hamas movement which carried out the bombings in Beersheba, reports the BBC's James Reynolds in Jerusalem.

They also say that they hold Syria responsible for sheltering Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.

Revenge attack

The two blasts on two buses occurred two minutes apart in the southern city of Beersheba shortly before 1500 (1200 GMT) on Tuesday.

About 80 people were injured, some of them seriously.

Hamas said it was avenging the assassinations of two of its leaders - Abdel Aziz Rantissi and Sheikh Ahmed Yassin - earlier this year.

Palestinian cabinet minister Saeb Erekat said: "The Palestinian Authority condemns any attacks that target civilians, whether Israelis or Palestinian."

He also appealed to the international backers of the stalled roadmap peace plan for the region "to intervene immediately" to bring peace to the region.

Suicide bombers have killed hundreds of people in Israel since the start of the of the Palestinian uprising nearly four years ago.

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Israel and the Palestinians



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