JERUSALEM, Israel - Terror returned to the streets of Jerusalem for the first time in years on Wednesday.
Around 3 p.m. Israeli time, a bomb exploded near a bus stop in front of the International Convention Center, killing one woman and wounding at least 39 others.
"When I came here I found three people seriously injured," one paramedic said at the scene. "I was working…I was working on an elderly lady who was seriously hurt. She wasn't breathing when I came here."
"She was laying right next to the bus. That's where the explosion happened," hecontinued. "We were trying to revive her and stabilize her condition. Then another person right next to us was terribly bleeding."
Police say the four-pound explosive device packed with shrapnel was hidden in a backpack and placed next to a phone booth near the bus stop.
CBN News Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell was at the scene of today’s bombing in Jerusalem. Click play to watch his report.
Mitchell also spoke with Senior International Correspondent George Thomas as the story broke. Watch that report below.
The blast damaged two city buses and forced the closure of the entrance to Jerusalem for more than an hour while security forces combed the area in search of additional bombs.
Police said it was the first terrorist bombing to take place in Jerusalem in more than four years.
The concern now is that the incident could mark a return to the kind of terror attacks that plagued the city years ago. In those days, suicide bombers blew themselves up in buses and restaurants, killing hundreds and wounding thousands more.
Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said there were no specific advance warnings of the attack.
"We've heightened security in Jerusalem and we're continuing to assess the security situation after the explosion took place," Rosenfeld told reporters at the scene.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said life would return to normal in his city despite today's attack.
"The best way to deal with terror is to show they have zero gain," Barkat said.
The bombing follows an escalation in rocket and mortar attacks from the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip on communities in southern Israel. The bombings have forced the closure of schools for the next two days.
The escalation provoked Israeli military retaliation in which eight Palestinians were killed, among them four known terrorists and four civilians, according to Palestinian sources.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed regret for the deaths of the civilians. Rosenfeld said there was no connection between the two events.
"What's taking place in the south and in the Gaza Strip is something that is being dealt with completely separately," he said.
Still, some suspect Iran might be pushing Hamas to set up attacks against Israel.