A bus exploded Monday April 18 2016. in an industrial zone in southern Jerusalem, wounding 21, police said.
Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the incident was caused by an explosive device. He said two people on board the bus that exploded were seriously wounded, while the other wounded people had been in a nearby bus and car that were also damaged. "Since we know there was an explosive device that exploded on a bus, there is no doubt that it was a terror attack," said Yoram Halevy, chief of the Jerusalem District Police.
Police are trying to determine whether one of the two critically injured bus passengers was a suicide bomber.
The blast then ripped through a second bus next to it, causing both buses to catch on fire, the station said. Plumes of black smoke could be seen miles from the scene. Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said the explosion was caused by a "small bomb" but did not elaborate further.
"We'll settle accounts" with those responsible for Jerusalem bus bombing," said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu this evening.
Alexis Hope Silverman, a Jerusalem mother of three, said she heard sirens “screeching non-stop for ten minutes straight. I knew something happened. I’m used to sirens but this was different.”
Hannah Jo Kanarek said she was sitting in her car at an intersection not far from the explosion.
“I watched all the emergency services racing towards the area. I knew immediately what it was.”
The blast comes amid a wave of Palestinian attacks on Israelis the past several months and raised initial fears of suicide attacks a decade ago in Israeli cities, the Associated Press reported. Attacks on Israeli buses by suicide bombers were frequent during the Palestinian uprising in 2000-2005 but they have been rare since, according to Reuters.