Bystanders look from a distance at the remains of a car that exploded in Ashdod, November 4.
(photo credit: ISRAEL POLICE)
A man was killed and another lightly to moderately hurt in a car explosion in Ashdod, police and paramedics confirmed Tuesday night.
The blast near the corner of Rogozin and Shapira streets caused severe shrapnel wounds and burns to the victim, a man in his 30s who was pronounced dead at the scene. The second victim was taken to a nearby hospital.
Police said they believed the incident was criminal and not a terror attack. By 9 p.m. on Tuesday, with the car still in flames, they said they were not yet able to determine who the men were and whether they were familiar to police from other investigations.
They added that it was also too soon to say whether they had been targets of an underworld hit, or whether they had been carrying the explosive and it had gone off early – what police typically call a “work accident.”
Tuesday’s incident marks the third car bombing in the country in less than a week.
Late Friday night, an explosive device blew up a car belonging to the deputy head of the Peki’in local council while it was parked inside the northern town. No one was hurt in the blast.
On Friday morning, a bomb affixed to a vehicle in Petah Tikva blew up, destroying the vehicle and leaving three other cars in flames. The target of the blast was a local underworld figure well known to Central District police.
Witnesses reported seeing the man flee the car shortly before the blast, according to media reports.
Last month, a man was killed in a Netanya car bombing that was linked to organized crime figures.
After coming under heavy criticism amid a serious uptick in mob-related crimes earlier this year, police Insp.- Gen. Yohanan Danino told the Knesset in March: “There is no doubt that historically this is one of the most successful phases in the history of the Israel Police, and I say to all those detractors – go learn the facts.”