JERUSALEM (Aug. 23)
A three-ton bomb whose projected detonation brought protests from Transjordan and British representatives to U.N. headquarters here and was the source of much concern for the safety of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and other Holy Places was this afternoon exploded by the Israelis with almost no side effects.
The blast, in preparation for which the city was practically emptied, came exactly at 4 P.M. local time and destroyed the bomb and damaged two nearby buildings. Neither the Church of the Holy Sepulchre nor any other shrine was damaged, although the Anglo-Palestine Bank building, in the new city, was rocked.
Fifteen minutes before the blast, Arab Legion troops withdrew from positions behind the section of the wall of the Old City stretching from the Damascus Gate to the Jaffa Gate. Inside the Old City thousands of Arabs left their homes and took refuge on the Mount of Olives.
In Jewish Jerusalem hundreds fled the immediate area and went to the northern-most suburbs. Streets were empty and workshops were closed, while police roped off entire streets and prevented pedestrians from approaching the area expected to be affected by the blast. No casualties were reported, although the city temporarily blanketed in heavy black smoke.