Thursday 29 September 2016

Three Israelis killed after gunmen open fire at Tel Aviv market

Published 08/06/2016 | 20:36

People console each other near the scene of a shooting in Tel Aviv (AP)
People console each other near the scene of a shooting in Tel Aviv (AP)

Three Israelis have been killed after two Palestinian gunmen opened fire near a popular open-air market in central Tel Aviv.

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The two men were detained after the incident at the Sarona market, which left at least five others injured, four of them critically.

Tel Aviv district police commander Moshe Edri added that one of the detained attackers was being treated for a gunshot wound.

Police had initially said there might be a third attacker, but this has now been ruled out.

Tel Aviv's Ichilov Hospital said four of the wounded Israelis are in a critical condition.

Meital Sassi told Channel 10 TV she was out with her family celebrating her son's birthday at the market when she heard shots and "immediately understood it was a terror attack".

"We ran like lighting with the baby and the stroller," she said. "I yelled at people who didn't understand what was happening to run."

The Ynet news website showed CCTV footage of civilians running into a nearby restaurant to take cover.

Shlomi Hajaj, director of the market, told Channel 10 that security guards at the entrance "prevented the attackers from entering the facility, averting a bigger disaster as the compound was packed with people."

Channel 10 cited witnesses as saying the two attackers were dressed in suits and ties and spent time in a nearby restaurant, sitting at the bar, before the attack.

It showed footage of police forensic teams dressed in white suits examining items in restaurants at the scene.

Police said the two gunmen were members of the same family from the Palestinian village of Yatta, near the West Bank town of Hebron, which has been a flashpoint for violence in recent months.

Over the last eight months Palestinian attacks, mostly stabbings, have killed 31 Israelis and two Americans. About 200 Palestinians have been killed during that time, most identified as attackers by Israel.

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