10 wounded in Eilat bus attack

Five people have died and at least 10 left wounded after three Israeli buses were shot at, it has been reported.

The initial shots, reportedly from the Egyptian side of the border, were fired at a bus travelling 20km from Eilat, in southern Israel.

Seven casualties were treated by Magen David Adom medics and taken to Yoseftal Hospital in Eilat. Five of the wounded were suffering from gunshot wounds and their condition was declared moderate.

An IDF spokesman confirmed that five soldiers were among those injured in the attack. The terrorists fled the scene and are still being pursued by IDF forces.

While the medical teams were evacuating the wounded, additional reports of a second incident started flowing in – on the same road.

A private vehicle and a bus were hit by explosives and there were several casualties. Informed speculation in the UK intelligence community suggested that the attacks may well have been masterminded by an al-Qaeda cell infiltrating from Sinai. The intelligence maintained that the attacks were beyond the capability of Hamas.

Zionist Federation chairman, Harvey Rose, said: "This cowardly attack once again shows the constant threat of terrorism that Israel faces. My thoughts are with the family and friends of those hurt and killed."

Ofir Gendelman, the Israeli prime minister's spokesperson to the Arab media, tweeted that the three terrorists who attacked the bus have been killed by Israeli police special forces.

Last updated: 12:50pm, August 18 2011