Tel Aviv car bomb injures several people

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Israeli emergency personnel gather around the scene of a car bomb blast in the Israeli town of Rishon LeZion on Sept. 29, 2006.

Credit:

David Furst

A car bomb exploded in central Tel Aviv near IDF central command on Thursday, injuring several people in what Israeli police say was not a terrorist attack, but an attempt to kill an alleged criminal kingpin.

"The main direction of suspicion is it was criminal," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told Reuters, which also reported Israel Radio saying the car belonged to a suspected high profile mobster known as Nissim Alperon.

Alperon survived the attack, according to the Times of Israel, which says he survived a similar attack in June. The Jewish Press says it's the eighth attempt on his life.

The Jewish Press reported seven people "lightly" injured, but the Times of Israel says other reports put that number as low as four.

“It sounded like an earthquake,” a witness told YNet

"There was a fire and I heard an explosion," a witness said on Israel Radio, according to Reuters

Police report the bomb was probably attached to Alperon’s jeep. They suspect a rival crime syndicate is behind that attack, according to the Times of Israel.