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Jerusalem bombings: Teenager killed in rare twin attacks at bus stops

A teenage boy is killed after two separate explosions target busy bus stops on the city’s outskirts.

Image source, EPA

A teenage boy has been killed and 14 other people have been wounded in two suspected bomb attacks at bus stops in Jerusalem, Israeli police say.

The explosions happened at two busy areas on the outskirts of the city as people were heading to work.

The boy who died was among 12 people wounded by the first blast. Three others were wounded by the second.

Israel’s internal security minister said at one scene that this was “an attack we haven’t seen in a long time”.

This year has seen a spate of deadly gun and knife attacks targeting Israelis, triggering waves of Israeli military raids in Palestinian cities in the occupied West Bank. But the use of explosives in Jerusalem would be the most significant attack of its kind in years.

The first explosion happened in Givat Shaul, close to the main entrance to the city, at around 07:05 (05:00 GMT) on Wednesday. About 30 minutes later, there was a second blast in Ramot Junction, another entrance to the city.

Videos from one scene showed people running and debris scattered across the street.

Israeli police said an initial investigation suggested that both blasts were caused by explosive devices placed at the scenes and that officers suspected this was a “combined terror attack”.

The Haaretz newspaper cited a police source as saying that both devices contained nails and were likely to have been detonated remotely.

“It’s a very difficult morning,” Israeli Internal Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev told reporters.

“There’s a high probability that there’s a connection between the attacks. These are not copycats. I believe that we’ll put our hand on all involved.”

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai called on the public to contact the emergency services if they saw anything out of the ordinary.

Outgoing Prime Minister Yair Lapid was convening a special meeting with the country’s security chiefs, Israeli media reported.

It comes as Prime Minister-designate Benjamin Netanyahu and his Likud party continue negotiations to form a new coalition government with allied far-right and religious parties. They won a majority in parliament in this month’s general election.

Ultra-nationalist Otzma Yehudit (Jewish Power) party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is set to become internal security minister and oversee the police force, visited the scene of the first explosion and declared that Israel had to take action to deter Palestinian attacks.

“Even if it’s in the West Bank, lay siege to them and go from house to house in search of guns and restore our deterrence power,” he said.

The US embassy in Israel tweeted that it condemned “in strongest possible terms today’s terrorist attacks on public locations in Jerusalem and offers sincere condolences to the victims and their loved ones”.

“Terrorism is a dead-end that accomplishes absolutely nothing,” it added.

The UK ambassador to Israel said he was “shocked by the terrorist attacks”.

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