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Switzerland condemns Palestinian bombing in Jerusalem

Police and medics rush to the scene of the explosion


Switzerland has joined the international condemnation of a Palestinian suicide bomb attack at a pizza parlour in the heart of Jerusalem on Thursday that killed at least 15 people and injured more than 90.

In a statement, the Swiss government said it "vehemently" condemned all forms of terrorism. Bern also "expressed its deep sympathy for the victims" of the bombing.

The blast ripped apart the Sbarro pizzeria that was crowded with families during the lunch-time rush, Israeli officials said.

Islamic Jihad, the Palestininian militant group, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

The Palestinian leader, Yasser Arafat, deplored the attack and urged Israel to make a joint ceasefire declaration. Meanwhile, the United States president, George W. Bush, said Arafat had to "act now to arrest and bring to justice those responsible."

Switzerland echoed calls from the US and European nations urging the Palestinians and Israelis to "return to dialogue" and "implement the recommendations of the Mitchell report."

A Swiss foreign ministry spokesman said the recommendations for peace submitted by American senator George Mitchell was "the only way to stop the dangerous spiral of violence."

swissinfo with agencies

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