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The Boston Marathon: What to do when a bomb goes off

In a word, get away!

Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings, the 9/11 attacks, the 1995 Beit Lid bombing in Israel: All these attacks share a deadly similarity. They came in multiples.

During the suicide bombings of the 1990s, Israelis learned the hard way that when a terrorist strikes, your first instinct should be to run — away. On Jan. 22, 1995, at the Beit Lid junction near Netanya, a suicide bomber walked up to a bus stop where Israeli soldiers were congregated and then detonated himself. As Israelis ran to tend to the wounded, a second bomber approached and, three minutes after the first, detonated his explosives. In total, 21 Israelis were killed, all but one of them soldiers.

I remember this attack well because a friend of mine, Yuval Tuvya, was among the dead (he was killed in the second detonation while helping the wounded).

On 9/11, the same pattern ensued, as the attack on the first World Trade Center was followed shortly thereafter by the second (and then two more at other sites, of course). The admonitions by security personnel for people in the towers to stay put was tragically wrong.

In video of Monday’s bombing in Boston, some onlookers can be seen hurrying toward the site of smoke rather than running away. Heroic, maybe. Risky, certainly.

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