At least 15 people were wounded in two separate explosions targeting bus stations in Jerusalem Wednesday, security and medical officials said, with Israel’s public security minister calling them “attacks.”
An explosion at a bus station at the western exit from Jerusalem wounded 12 people, two of them critically. A separate blast at another station a short distance away damaged a bus and wounded three people, the hospitals treating the casualties said.
The twin explosions struck half an hour apart, police said, noting sappers were at the scene with other forces “collecting evidence and scanning the area for suspects.”
An AFP photographer at the scene said the blast had ripped a hole through a metal fence behind the bus stop, with an electric scooter and a hat lying on the ground.
The photographer said the second blast had torn through the side of a bus.
The Shaare Zedek hospital said it was treating six people who were wounded in the first explosion, two of them in critical condition, two seriously wounded, and two lightly wounded.
Hadassah medical centre said it was treating six people from the same blast, one moderate and five lightly wounded, and another three people lightly wounded in the second explosion.
Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev said he spoke with the police chief and was “briefed on the two attacks in Jerusalem.”
Defence Minister Benny Gantz was holding consultations with the head of the Shin Bet internal security agency and senior military officials, his office said.
Violence has flared this year, particularly in the occupied West Bank, where the Israeli army has launched near-daily raids since a series of deadly attacks on Israeli targets earlier this year.
During the second intifada, or uprising, in the early 2000s, Palestinian militants planted bombs targeting Israelis at urban bus stations, including in Jerusalem.