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5 Killed in Tel Aviv During Coordinated Suicide Attack - 2002-07-18

Five people were killed, including two suicide bombers, in an attack in Tel Aviv late Wednesday. Some 40 others were wounded in the bombing, the second attack against Israelis this week.

Police say it was a coordinated attack. One bomber detonated the explosive belt he was wearing as he stood near a cinema. The second blew himself up as the panicked crowd ran away from the first blast and toward him.

Two of the dead were foreign workers. The third was an Israeli citizen.

Most of the wounded are foreign workers. The explosions occurred in a Tel Aviv neighborhood filled with coffee shops and businesses catering to Israel's large foreign worker population.

The Palestinian militant group Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack. Palestinian Cabinet Minister Saeb Erekat condemned the attack, saying he is against the killing of civilians, whether they be Israelis or Palestinians.

The Israeli government blamed Yasser Arafat. Spokesman Avi Pazner said the Palestinian leader has made no effort to stop the bloodshed, and that the killings are likely to continue, as long as Mr. Arafat remains in power. The double bombing ended a string of 27 days without a Palestinian terror attack inside Israel. Tuesday, Palestinian gunmen in the West Bank killed eight Israelis, when they ambushed a bus carrying Jewish settlers.

Israeli forces have re-occupied seven of the eight major Palestinian population centers in the West Bank, in a bid to stop attacks.

Meanwhile, two Palestinians have been killed in an explosion in the al-Amari refugee camp in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The cause of the explosion is unknown.

Israeli troops also shot and killed a Palestinian man near the West Bank town of Qalqilya. They said he was trying to sneak into Israel.

And an Israeli jet bombed a Palestinian metal factory in the central Gaza Strip, causing extensive damage to at least one building. Israel says the factory was used to make weapons for the Palestinian militant group Hamas.