A car exploded on a busy street in Tel Aviv around 1 pm on Thursday, in what appeared to be an assassination attempt.
The police postulated the incident was criminal in nature. Two motorcyclists were arrested for alleged involvement in the incident.
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Nine people were said to be lighly hurt. They were taken to the Sourasky Medical Center.
Car went up in flames (Photo: Assaf Gol)
According to witnesses, a motorcyclist approached the car on the corner Menachem Begin Road and Shaul Hamelech Avenue and placed a bomb on it. The device detonated shortly thereafter, causing the car to go up in flames.
A police helicopter has been scrambled in the manhunt for the assailant. Several motorcyclists have been stopped but none have been arrested.
Site of explosion (Photo: Olga Lavi)
The witnesses added that they saw Nissim Alperon, a criminal, fleeing the scene. Alperon, 58, who is known as a crime boss, has survived eight previous attempts on his life. It appears he has managed to endure yet another near death experience.
According to his brother, Alperon escaped unscathed.
"The police know who they are, may the cowards be cursed," Zalman Alperon told Channel 2, referring to the assailants.
"We're not afraid for our lives," he added.
Alperon later told his friends he ran out of the car after feeling a motorcycle clinging to his vehicle and said he did not know who was behind the attempted hit.
The explosion went off on a crosswalk not far from the Hakirya IDF base. The windows of a bus that was traveling nearby shattered from the force of the blast.
The scene was closed to traffic, causing congestion in the area.
Magen David Adom initially classified the event as a multi-victim incident, but lifted the alert a few minutes later.
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