Thursday, August 18, 2011

18-Aug-11: Multi-location terror attacks; details are still unclear

This is still unfolding but as of now, the reports from Yosephtal Hospital in Eilat, Israel's southern-most point, are that 26 Israelis are being treated for injuries, some critical, as a result of a series of what appear to be co-ordinated terror attacks. The targets: a civilian bus, a private car and other targets. There are unconfirmed reports of deaths as well. Roadblocks have been thrown up throughout Israel and, as usual, all the radio and TV channels are interrupting normal programming to deliver the latest breaking news. Eilat is completely sealed off, and there are concerns that other still-hidden terror cells have not yet made their moves. And on Israel Television, there is a report of yet another terror attack in the area of Rosh Ha'ayin in Tel Aviv's suburbs. Ynet's summary as of 14:45:
  • Egged bus number 392, traveling from Beersheba to Eilat was ambushed by a three-man terror cell. Over a dozen people were wounded in the attack, which took place on Highway 12, about 30km north of Eilat, near the Ein Netafim junction.
  • Soon after that, in a second incident, multiple roadside bombs and rocket fire were directed at IDF forces patrolling the Israel-Egypt border fence.
  • Around 1pm, a third attack - a shooting on a bus and a private vehicle traveling south. Five people are reportedly very seriously injured.
Live media reports are being very cautious about updating the casualty numbers, or the source of the attackers, while reporting that Israel's urgent military deployment in the Negev and the Eilat area is wide and growing. There are three dead terrorists so far. Numerous reports that some part of these attacks, at least,  originated in Egypt, and an eye-witness interview on radio a few minutes ago said the shooters attacking the Egged bus were wearing military uniforms that he thought were Egyptian. Much yet  remains to be clarified.

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