Motorcycle rider killed in powerful explosion in Gedera
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Motorcycle rider killed in powerful explosion in Gedera

Police investigating whether man was target of assassination or if he accidentally set off device he was carrying

Adiv Sterman is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of a police cordon at a crime scene (Matanya Tausig/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of a police cordon at a crime scene (Matanya Tausig/Flash90)

A man believed to have connections to the criminal world was killed in the central Israeli city of Gedera when an explosive device detonated beneath the motorcycle he was riding Monday afternoon.

Police were investigating whether the man was the target of an assassination, or if the device belonged to him and was accidentally set off as he was driving to place the explosives in a different location, Channel 2 reported.

A medical team that arrived at the scene was unable to resuscitate the man, and pronounced his death a short while later.

Details about the man were not immediately available.

Four bystanders at the scene were treated for shock following the powerful blast, according to Channel 2. Police sappers were clearing civilians away from the area for fear that the motorcycle had been booby-trapped and was still laden with explosives.

On Saturday, two men were shot to death in the northern Golan Heights Druze village of Mas’ade, in what was thought to be an attack linked to organized crime.

According to an initial investigation, the two men, both in their 40s, were seated with several other men in a parked car as another vehicle pulled up near them. At that point, a gunman in the second vehicle opened fire at the parked car. The second car then fled the scene.

Police cordoned off the area and launched a widespread search for the perpetrators of the attack, as well as the vehicle from which the two men were shot at, Channel 10 reported.

Israel has suffered a spate of car bombings over the past several years, thought to be part of underworld fighting. Officials have vowed to clamp down on the bombings.

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