Blasts rock Jerusalem
One person was killed and more than a dozen others injured when two explosions rocked Jerusalem on Wednesday morning in what Israeli authorities suspect to be a coordinated terrorist attack.
The first blast occurred during the morning rush hour near the Central Bus Station in the city.
Medics say at least eleven people were injured, including two in a critical condition. A victim died later in hospital due to their wounds.
An investigation is underway, with police saying it could have been caused by a bomb left in a bag.
Witnesses told the Jerusalem Post newspaper that they saw a suspicious bag left against a wall shortly before the explosion.
Images from the scene show a bus riddled with holes from shrapnel.
Half an hour after the first blast, another happened near the Ramon intersection in northern Jerusalem. It also targeted a bus, leaving several people lightly wounded. Media reports claim it was also caused by a bomb left in a bag.
Authorities in Jerusalem put the number of injured in both incidents at 18 people, while police say that they are treating the explosions as a coordinated attack.
Israeli Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, who arrived at the scene, said the Jerusalem attack was of a kind unseen by the security forces “for many years.” Police are looking for the perpetrators, while also searching the city for more possible explosive devices, he added.
The explosive devices contained nails and were likely detonated remotely, a police source told Haaretz newspaper. A senior security official, who spoke to the outlet earlier, suggested there was “significant infrastructure” behind the twin attacks, which included intelligence gathering and preparation of the bombs.
In the wake of the explosions, a spokesman for the Palestinian armed group Hamas said that Israel is paying the price for the mistreatment of Muslims at the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem, Islam’s third-holiest site, which is controlled by Israeli security forces.