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Hand Grenade Explosion in Old City Injures 20; No Fatalities

Twenty persons mostly women and children, were injured when a hand grenade exploded in the middle of a crowd of shoppers on David St. in the Old City today. The injured were hospitalized at the Shaare Zedek Hospital in West Jerusalem and the Hospice Clinic in East Jerusalem. Most of the injuries were described as minor.

According to eye witnesses, the incident, the first of its kind in over a year, occurred at 12:50 p.m. local time. The grenade exploded seconds after someone, possibly the perpetrator, shouted a warning in Arabic. It was apparently intended to spare Arabs in the crowd from injuries. A number of Arab street vendors and shopkeepers scrambled for shelter. Four Arab youths were among the injured persons.

The others included four Israeli girl soldiers a young mother and her infant, several women and girls from Tel Aviv and Jerusalem who were shopping and a husband and wife, tourists from Rumania. Police, who reached the scene minutes after the explosion, cordoned off the area and arrested several suspects for questioning.

Mayor Teddy Kollek, who also rushed to the scene, denounced “the cowardly attack against innocent people, women and children, that can serve no purpose.” Shopkeepers on David St. closed their shops after the explosion. Most of them reopened late in the afternoon, shortly before their normal closing time. A report from Shaare Zedek Hospital this evening said that only one of the victims had sustained serious injuries Most of the people were hit in the legs by grenade fragments. Many of them left the hospital after treatment.

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