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Tel Aviv Suicide Bombing Sparks Panic - 2002-01-25

A Palestinian suicide bombing attack in a crowded Tel Aviv shopping area has injured at least 14 Israelis. Police say the bomber detonated explosives strapped to his body, killing himself and sending the city into panic.

The attack took place outside the old central bus station in Tel Aviv, during the Friday morning shopping rush before the start of the Jewish sabbath.

At least two people were seriously injured in the attack, while 12 others were treated for medium to light injuries.

Police have arrested several Palestinians from the West Bank who were in the area of the explosion.

A Kalashnikov rifle was also discovered near the blast site.

Tel Aviv District Police Commander Yossi Sedbon told Israeli television that police were searching the area for additional explosive devices.

He added that there had been warnings of terror attacks inside Israel in recent days.

The latest attack came one day after an Israeli helicopter fired missiles at a car in the southern Gaza Strip, killing a Hamas military commander, Bakr Hamdan.

About 2,000 Palestinians took part in his funeral Friday, vowing to avenge his death.

Hamas and the Islamic Jihad are the two Palestinian groups that have carried out suicide bombings in the past seven years, killing hundreds of Israelis.

The two organizations are committed to the destruction of the Jewish State.