Former Kaizer Chiefs Striker Ibezito Ogbonna Narrowly Escapes Bomb Blast in Israel

Former Kaizer Chiefs Striker Ibezito Ogbonna Narrowly Escapes Bomb Blast in Israel

- Footballer Ibezito Ogbonna, formerly on the books of Kaizer Chiefs as a striker back in 2008, has escaped a bomb blast in Israel

- The Nigerian player, who retired in 2012, has relayed the details of how his family escaped unharmed from the volatile clash

- Media reports also suggest that Ogbonna had been hospitalised with minor injuries after the block of flats where he lives was attacked from Gaza

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Former Amakhosi striker Ibezito Ogbonna survived a rocket strike when his apartment building in the Israeli city of Ashdod was struck.

It is reported by KickOff that the footballer was at home with his family when their apartment block suffered a direct hit from a rocket fired from Gaza in the midst of territorial conflict between Israel and Palestine.

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The former Bafana was then rushed to hospital suffering minor injuries and his family emerged unharmed, although their home was destroyed by the strike.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Ogbonna said at that moment all he could see was flying glass and objects.

Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Ibezito Ogbonna has survived a bomb blast in Israel. Image: @OgbonnaZitoZito/Facebook
Former Kaizer Chiefs striker Ibezito Ogbonna has survived a bomb blast in Israel. Image: OgbonnaZitoZito/Facebook
Source: Facebook

He said:

"I could see glasses [sic] and other objects flying around me. I hit the ground. I stood up to look around for my family. They were very lucky too, my wife had taken cover with my daughters, I think one of the doors landed on her.
"I could see the whole building was gone. We are talking about a four-storey building with about 30 people. The security doors between my kitchen and living room ripped out and everything [is] totally wrecked.
"Cars were smashed and it was then I realised I had a cut and my knee was hurting badly before the paramedics took me in an ambulance to the hospital. I was in the hospital for a few hours. I was treated and had different tests just to check that everything was okay with me. They weren't sure I was fine considering what had happened."

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The 38-year-old spent seven months with Chiefs between 2008 and 2009 and explained that he is fortunate to have survived the incident.

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He added:

"I am extremely lucky to be alive after this rocket was fired and it's third time lucky for me after being involved in a car crash and a horrible robbery incident in Nigeria.
"We were all aware of the [possible strike] and we always get the warning signs about possible missiles. We often hear as sirens echo across the city streets which tends to prompt people to rush to a shelter.”

Apart from featuring for the Soweto giants, Ogbonna also played for Israeli clubs such as Hapoel Tel-Aviv, Enugu Rangers, and Sharks FC among others before retiring in 2012.

Despite not making a senior international appearance for the Super Eagles of Nigeria, Ogbonna was part of Nigeria's under-23 squad for Olympic qualifying in 2006 but failed to make the team for the 2008 Games in Beijing.

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In other stories, Briefly News reported that International Relations Minister Naledi Pandor has said that Mzansi has to reconsider its engagement with Israel following the deadly clash between the country and Palestine.

The bloody conflict in Gaza claimed the lives of close to 250 Palestinians and at least 12 Israelis, according to reports.

Pandor called on the international community to stop the impunity while Mzansi supports the International Criminal Court in its planned investigation into the latest conflict.

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