A two to four pound bomb, that contained steel pellets, exploded in Jerusalem’s central bus station, around 3pm today. The bomb, hidden inside a bag, was placed next to a telephone kiosk. It killed a 59-year-old woman and injured approximately 35 others.
The dead woman was a tourist. At the time of writing it was not known where she was from or how long she had been in Jerusalem or Israel.
Immediately after the blast, a yeshiva student was seen running around with his legs on fire. Other people were trying to help him put out the fire. Many people were seen lying on the ground.
Within minutes, rescue forces arrived to help the injured.
“I was in a taxi very close to the central bus station where the attack took place. Suddenly an extremely loud explosion shook the city. Seconds later sirens were heard and we knew instinctively that a terrorist attack had taken place,”
– Laura Kam
U.S. Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton said she was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the bombing, reiterating that the United States is committed to Israel’s security. “Terrorism and the targeting of civilians are never justified. And Israel, like all nations, of course, has to respond when this occurs.”
Secretary Clinton also commented on several recent rocket attacks from Gaza into Israel. “We also strongly condemn recent rocket attacks from Gaza against innocent Israeli civilians and hold fully responsible the militants perpetrating these attacks. And I join President Obama in extending our sincere condolences to the friends and families of the Palestinian civilians killed in Gaza yesterday and appreciate that Israel has expressed regret.”
Expressing the need for calm, Secretary Clinton urged all concerned to do everything in their power to prevent further violence and civilian casualties among both Israelis and Palestinians.