GAZA STRIP - The Gaza branch of the Palestinian Bible Society, known as the Teacher's Bookshop and Community Center, sustained heavy damage from a large bomb placed at its door early Sunday morning.
The incident began about 2:00 a.m. when masked men emerged from two cars parked in front of the building. They kidnapped the security guard, who was beaten and then released. No one else was injured in the attack.
An hour later, the men returned to detonate a large bomb placed in the doorway.
This time, the damage was more extensive than last February, when two pipe bombs exploded at the front door.
But repairs to the shop, which also serves as a community outreach and development center, as well as a library and computer center, are already underway.
Staff at the Gaza bookstore said they were surprised at the attack because there have been no threats recently.
Representatives from the Palestinian ministry of culture came to assess the damage and condemn the attack.
Local residents also arrived at the bookshop to show their support.
The Palestinian Bible Society has been operating in Gaza since 1999. Over the past several years, the staff has become increasingly involved with the community