Suicide Bomber Kills At Least 16 in Israel

The bombing took place at 11:03 p.m. local time, as Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon began his talks with President Bush in Washington.

“We know of an explosion in a building…a nightclub in which there was apparently a large number of people,” Chaim Cohen, a police commander told Army radio.

A spokesman with an Israeli ambulance service said part of the three-story building had collapsed. “Some of the wounded are trapped in the building,” he said.

The explosion occurred in the middle of the industrial section of Rishon Letzion, a city with 100,000 residents.

A Lebanese TV station said it received a claim of responsibility from the Palestinian militant group Hamas, but a Hamas spokesman says he cannot confirm that.

Nearly 60 suicide bombings have occurred since the latest spate of Israeli-Palestinian violence flared in September 2000.