Feb 4, 2008 10:47 | Updated Feb 4, 2008 13:06
By JPOST.COM STAFF
One woman was killed and ten were wounded, one critically, one moderately and eight lightly, in a suicide attack in a Dimona commercial center.
Police said the attack was a suicide bombing carried out by two attackers, but only one succeeded in detonating his explosives. The other terrorist was killed by Kobi Mor, a police officer from an elite unit who happened to be on the scene, seconds before the bomber could detonate himself.
Magen David Adom ambulances evacuated the wounded to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba.
Rosa Elberg, a resident of the town, said that the bomber detonated his explosives inside a café.
"It is like a war, people are running like crazy," she told Channel 2. "I didn't see anyone suspicious. I heard a boom and my ears are still ringing."
Another eyewitness told Israel Radio that many people were at the commercial center at the time because of the sunny weather.
[Scene of the Dimona blast ]
Scene of the Dimona blast
Photo: Channel 2 News
Shalom Bar Avi, a journalist speaking to Channel 10, said "I am here no longer as a journalist but as a simple citizen ... I pray and hope my wife is okay."
Bar Avi praised the police's quick response to the attack, and said Mor, the officer who identified the second attacker shot "four or five times ... he took no chances."
Later Mor's heroism was revealed in detail: He shot the terrorist in the head, and when the latter in his last breath still tried to press the detonator button, shot him four more times and killed him. Mor managed to kill the terrorist before he could explode and without hitting his explosive belt, thus preventing a much more devastating attack.
A police officer speaking to Channel 10 praised Mor's quick response and said he acted "in the best possible way, all considerations taken into account."
The Jerusalem Brigades of Islamic Jihad claimed responsibility for the attack, confirming in its statement that the attackers entered Israel through the Sinai, but several minutes later several organizations, including Hamas and Fatah, also claimed responsibility according to Channel 10.
Southern Israel has been on alert against terror attacks since the Gaza Strip's Hamas rulers breached the border with Egypt on January 23. The breach made the Negev, where Dimona is located, more vulnerable to penetration by Palestinian terrorists who could enter through the Sinai.
The last suicide attacker to succeed in penetrating Israel and detonate his explosives was Muhammad Faisal Saksak, on January 29, 2007 in Eilat.
Three people were killed in that attack.
Details on wounded evacuated to Soroka Hospital in Beersheba can be received by phone on 1255-177.
AP contributed to this report