On the 14 Elul, August 31, 2004, 19 years ago on Sunday, a double suicide attack rocked Israel’s southern capital of Beersheba.
Two suicide bombers boarded buses at Beersheba Central Station. When the buses met in front of the Beer Sheva municipality square, they blew themselves up a few minutes apart.
"I always heard about attacks and I didn't think that the next attack would be on my bus"Yaakov Cohen, bus driver, witness
This occurred on two busy bus lines that traveled on a main road, near the city hall, in a crowded place.
In the attack, 16 Israeli citizens were murdered and over 100 were injured.
This attack had the largest number of victims in the entire year of 2004 and has the largest number of victims in the south of the country to this day.
Heroic driver saved lives
Yaakov Cohen, the bus driver on line 12, saved the lives of many of the passengers. "I was waiting for a green light at the traffic light, to my left was line 6. I heard a huge explosion. I realized that it was a suicide bomber on the second bus. I made a turn and opened the doors. 10 to 15 passengers got off.
"Suddenly I heard another explosion. I felt the push in my back. I turned back and saw horror.
"Bodies were Behind me... I estimate that these are the older passengers who didn't have time to get off...the young ones had time to escape. I went down and I have no words to describe what I saw...I always heard about attacks and I didn't think that the next attack would be on my bus."