JERUSALEM : An explosion aboard an empty Israeli bus near Tel Aviv on Sunday that did not kill or wound anyone was a "terrorist attack," police said. "After examining the explosives retrieved from the scene, we have concluded that this was a terrorist attack," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told AFP. "An investigation has been opened and our forces have been deployed in the area to try to identify suspects," he added. Police had said earlier that a sapper was examining a suspicious object found on the empty bus in the seaside town of Bat Yam when it exploded, but was unhurt.
The driver of the bus had spotted an unattended bag on board, stopped the vehicle and ordered passengers to disembark, Rosenfeld said. But bus company Dan said the driver had been tipped off by a passenger. "The passenger opened the backpack and saw wires," news website Ynet quoted Dan spokesman Eitan Fiksman as saying. The authorities had initially suggested the attack might have been connected to an often violent power struggle among gangsters in the Bat Yam area.