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An explosion ripped through a car in a main thoroughfare in Tel Aviv on Thursday and the city’s ambulance service said at least four people were injured in the blast which happened near a bus.

Police are working on the theory that criminals were behind the explosion and it was an attempt to kill an alleged gang kingpin. Local media sources reported the car, a black Mazda, belonged to the head of an alleged organised crime family.

It is claimed the vehicle’s owner has been the target of at least seven previous assassination attempts, but he did not appear to be in the car at the time of this blast.

One website quoted witnesses saying they saw a person on a motorcycle plant an explosive device on the Mazda.

Commentators say in recent years Israel has become a ferocious battleground for criminal gangs involving several families.

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