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23 Persons Injured, 4 Seriously in Bomb Explosion in Petach Tikva

A bomb exploded in the Petach Tikva marketplace at about noon today injuring 23 persons, four of them seriously. One of the latter, a pregnant woman, was rushed to Tel Hashomer Hospital and 13 other victims were treated at the Beilinson and Hasharon Hospitals.

The bombing touched off a nation-wide alert. Security forces searched public places for other concealed bombs. The Petach Tikva marketplace was cordoned off and closed for several hours but reopened later in the day after a thorough search. According to police, the bomb consisted of explosives in a metal pipe. It was hidden under a fruit vendor’s cart on Baron Hirsch St. in the center of town.

Petach Tikva, five miles from central Tel Aviv is close to the pre-1967 boundary between Israel and Jordan. Arabs from the administered areas usually throng into the city’s market place to sell products. Security forces rounded up dozens of Arabs. A police spokesman said some were held to protect them from angry Israeli stallholders. Stalls were splintered and blood-spattered and piles of fruit were scattered all over the market place.

Meanwhile, an army spokesman reported that a seven-man terrorist cell was uncovered in Gaza. According to the spokesman, members of the cell are suspected of several terrorist acts including a recent arson attempt at the Gaza railroad station.

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