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Bomber Kills Self, Israeli Girl North of Tel Aviv - 2002-06-11


Israeli police say a Palestinian suicide bomber detonated explosives Tuesday in an Israeli coastal city north of Tel Aviv, killing himself and Israel teenager and injuring at least eight others.

Police say the bomber blew himself up in a restaurant in the Israeli city of Herzliya on the Mediterranean coast. Ambulances raced to the scene, and medical officials say the wounded were taken to hospitals within minutes of the attack.

The explosion ripped through the Middle Eastern-style restaurant, which is in the downtown part of the city. One of the suburbs of the city, Herzliya Pituach, is home to many foreign ambassadors to Israel.

A spokesman for the Israeli prime minister's office, David Baker, denounced the attack, saying it "is another example of the Palestinian intention to commit murder for the sake of murder."

The Palestinian Authority released a statement condemning the suicide bombing, saying such operations give the Israeli government a reason to strike at the Palestinian people.

The bombing took place despite tight Israeli restrictions on movement in the West Bank. Israeli military forces have surrounded or entered main Palestinian population centers in an attempt to stop militants from infiltrating into Israel.

Earlier, a bomb exploded near a school bus in the West Bank, injuring three Israeli teenagers. The injured were students from a religious high school in the Jewish settlement of Kiryat Arba, near Hebron.

The teenagers had been picking fruit at a nearby orchard and were returning to their bus at the time of the blast.

In Hebron, the bodies of two Palestinians were found, one of them in the exact location where a local militia leader was killed recently by fire from an Israeli helicopter. Palestinians say the men were gunned down for allegedly collaborating with Israel.

Israeli military forces remain in Ramallah, where they have imposed a curfew and are surrounding Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat's headquarters. Mr. Arafat is in the compound and has not been hurt during the operation.

Israeli forces also launched another incursion and clamped a curfew on the West Bank town of Tulkarm.

Israeli soldiers have arrested dozens of alleged militants in recent days during raids on Palestinian-controlled towns and villages in the West Bank. The army says the incursions and arrests are designed to stop militants planning suicide bombings and shooting attacks against Israelis.

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