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Bomb rocks Tel Aviv, casualties reported

Investigators look at a damaged car after it exploded near the Israeli defence ministry injuring several people in Tel Aviv on January 10, 2013. (AFP Photo / Roni Schutzer)

Investigators look at a damaged car after it exploded near the Israeli defence ministry injuring several people in Tel Aviv on January 10, 2013. (AFP Photo / Roni Schutzer)

A car bomb has exploded in central Tel Aviv. The blast occurred alongside a bus near the Israeli Defense Ministry, injuring at least four people. Police suspect it was an attempt to kill an alleged criminal kingpin.

The blast, which was detonated by a nearby motorcyclist, was an attempt to assassinate crime ring leader Nissim Alperon, Haaretz reports.

“Apparently it is a criminal incident, a settling of accounts,” police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP.

Police have reportedly caught the motorcyclist which they believe is responsible for the bomb.

The black Mazda burst into flames immediately after the blast.

Most of the casualties are being treated on the spot, although several people have reportedly been taken to hospital.

Rescue forces are currently at the scene.

If the blast was indeed an assassination attempt, it will have been the eighth attempt targeting Alperon over the last 12 years.

A bomb exploded in Alperon’s Toyota SUV last June, sending it up in flames. Alperon was not wounded in the blast, but the bomb injured his 70-year-old associate.

(Image from twitter user@bneibraki)
(Image from twitter user@bneibraki)
(Image from twitter user@bneibraki)
(Image from twitter user@bneibraki)
(Image from twitter user@bneibraki)
(Image from twitter user@bneibraki)

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