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      Terrorists Kill Four in Tel Aviv Bomb Blast

      An Islamic Jihad suicide bomber Friday night killed three men and a woman and wounded more than 50 others at a Tel Aviv nightclub near the beach.
      First Publish: 2/27/2005, 3:39 PM / Last Update: 2/26/2005, 7:40 PM

      The four who were killed were to be buried in their hometowns today. They are:
      * Yitzchak Buzaglo, 40, from Moshav Mishmar HaYarden, whose wife Linda was hospitalized in serious condition; they have a 9-year-old son and a 3-year-old daughter.
      * Aryeh Nagar, 37, of Kfar Saba; never married, he is survived by his parents and five siblings.
      * Ronen Reuvenov, 30, of Tel Aviv; and
      * Yael Auerbach, 28 from Rehovot, who was to have been married in two weeks; her fiance is hospitalized in moderate condition.

      The attack occurred when a suicide terrorist blew himself up at the entrance to the Stage Club on the Tel Aviv boardwalk. The terrorist was killed in the blast, and police are searching for a second man seen with him before the attack.

      The Palestinian Authority (PA) blamed the attack on Hizbullah terrorists allied with Iran, but Israeli security sources said the terrorists came from an Islamic Jihad gang backed by Syrian terrorists. Islamic Jihad, in fact, claimed responsiblity, airing a video tape prepared before the attack and boasting that it was trying to derail the PA.

      Three of the wounded were initially listed in serious condition. Of the more than 50 people who were wounded, 29 are still hospitalized in four Tel Aviv hospitals – Sheba, Ichilov, Wolfson and Beilinson – including one in very critical condition and one in serious condition.

      Injured more than 50 people
      Most of the victims belonged to an Israeli army reserve unit that was planning to celebrate the birthday of one of its officers at the nightclub. "It was a surprise party for our sergeant-major," said Eitan Hait, one if the reservists. "We were all standing outside laughing and smiling when suddenly I felt darkness sweep over me." Many unit members described themselves as a close "family" that would often get together socially. They were to have received wedding invitations to Ophir and Yael's wedding on Friday night.

      "We're a small and very 'together' unit," later said Yaron Greivsky, whose 30th birthday was the reason for the suprise gathering. "We're the kind who smile when we're called up for reserve service. All of us have been in dangerous places, we've been in Lebanon, Gaza, Hevron, all over. No one was ever hurt. And then a terrorist comes to the middle of Tel Aviv, where it's supposed to be the safest, and destroys everything."

      The managers of the Stage Club said that they plan to be closed for the week of mourning, and will then resume their program of "Israeli music sing-alongs." "We will not cave in to terrorism," said owner Tzachi Cohen.

      The murderer was a 21-year-old terrorist from an area near Tul Karem, about five miles east of Tel Aviv. Tul Karem was slated to be one of the first cities whose security responsibility was to be handed over to the PA in the coming days. In reaction to the suicide bombing, Israel announced last night, among other things, that it was freezing the plan. Some analysts said that this was largely an announcement to calm the Israeli public, as the plan was mired in any event.