"We will kill all the Zionist criminals because they are killing our children."
- Hamas spokesman Abdul Aziz Rantisi praising the bus bombing in Jerusalem earlier today, quoted by Uri Dan, "Death Bus," The New York Post, November 21, 2002
(Note: Israel has never made intentional targets of children or any part of the Arab civilian population. See Q&A #2.)
A suicide bomber wearing an explosives belt packed with nuts and bolts blew himself up [today] on a bus full of high school students on their way to classes in Jerusalem's Kiryat Menachem neighborhood, killing 11 people and wounding 50.
One of the dead was a 14-year-old girl, and many of the wounded were teenagers, media reports said....
Officials said the medium-sized explosives belt was packed with nuts and bolts to maximize the damage, and that it was detonated in the center of the bus. Media reports said police were hunting for a car that apparently dropped the bomber off in Kiryat Menachem, minutes before the attack.
Maor Kimche, 15, said he had just boarded the bus when the blast went off. "Suddenly, it was black and smoky. There were people on the floor. Everything was bloody. There was glass everywhere and body parts," Kimche said.
The 10th grader who had been en route to school in downtown Jerusalem jumped out of a bus window and was scooped up by a tax driver who took him to nearby Hadassah Hospital in Jerusalem's Ein Karem. Kimche was lightly injured in the left leg....
Doctors here have become well-versed in treating bombing victims. The blasts cause such severe trauma injuries because, besides nails and metal packed into the explosives, a concussion or shock wave follows that can shatter ear drums, push air out of the lungs and crush the body's organs, Sofer said.
The youngster said the bus was crowded with high school students, soldiers and elderly passengers. He said he'd ride the bus again once he was well. "How else will I get to school?" he asked.
The blast blew out the bus windows. A torso that had fallen over the side of the bus was covered with a white-and-blue checkered blanket.
Sandwiches and schoolbooks lay scattered in the street.
- "Eleven Dead, 50 Wounded in Jerusalem Suicide Bombing (UPDATE)," The Jerusalem Post, November 21, 2002
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