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Car explodes in Tel Aviv, police suspect criminal motive

Jan. 10, 2013 1:29 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 12, 2013 3:21 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A car exploded near a bus in Tel Aviv on Thursday, injuring four people in what police suspect was an attempt to kill an alleged criminal kingpin.

Israel Radio said the car belonged to the head of an alleged organised crime family.

"The main direction of suspicion is it was criminal," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

Police said four people were injured in the explosion on Menachem Begin Street, a main thoroughfare.

"There was a fire and I heard an explosion," a witness said on Israel Radio as ambulance and police vehicle sirens screamed in the background.

Rosenfeld said police suspect the blast was a possible assassination attempt against organised crime leaders. They were investigating reports that "someone on a motorcycle either planted an explosive or threw it inside the vehicle."

The last bombing in Tel Aviv, Israel's business hub, wounded 15 people on Nov. 21, during an eight-day military campaign in the Gaza Strip. A Palestinian citizen of Israel was charged in court with carrying out that attack on Hamas' behalf.
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