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3 Dead in Suicide Bomb Attack in Israel - 2002-05-22

A Palestinian suicide bomber has blown himself up in the Israeli town of Rishon Lezion, south of Tel Aviv, killing himself and at least two others. Another 15 were reported wounded in the second attack of its kind in the past two weeks.

The blast occurred at the intersection of two main pedestrian walkways in the center of the town.

Eyewitnesses said that the crushed remains of one person could be seen on the pavement, apparently the suicide bomber.

Israeli police have begun a manhunt for a car that is believed to have dropped off the bomber a short-time before the explosion.

Rishon Lezion, about 10 kilometers south of Tel Aviv, was the location of a suicide bombing on May 7, which killed 16 people in a pool hall.

Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesman Gideon Meir called the blast "another vicious Palestinian attack against Israeli civilians".

A spokesman for the Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Shaon says that Israel will never buckle in the face of Palestinian terror and will continue to do everything in its power to halt such attacks.

The bombing came just hours after Israeli forces killed a suspected Palestinian militant leader in a refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Nablus. Mohmoud Titi, a leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, was killed along with three other Palestinians when they were hit by Israeli missiles as they stood in a cemetery.

The militant group of Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's Fatah faction has claimed responsibility for a number of suicide bombings this year.