The attacker killed two guests to Djerba’s Ghriba Synagogue and a safety guard earlier than being shot lifeless.
Two guests, a safety guard, and their attacker have been killed close to a synagogue on Tunisia’s Djerba island that pulls tons of of Jews from Europe and Israel throughout an annual pilgrimage annually.
Djerba – a vacation vacation spot off the coast of southern Tunisia, 500 km (300 miles) from the capital Tunis – is dwelling to Africa’s oldest synagogue and the annual pilgrim has had tight safety since al-Qaeda attacked the spiritual web site in 2002 with a truck bomb that killed 21 Western vacationers.
The assault on Tuesday was staged by a guard affiliated with Tunisia’s Nationwide Guard naval centre within the city of Aghir on Djerba, who first used his weapon to shoot a colleague and seize his ammunition earlier than transferring in direction of Ghriba Synagogue, the Inside Ministry mentioned in an announcement.
The attacker fired indiscriminately at safety models situated close to the synagogue, killing two guests and a safety officer, in addition to injuring 5 safety guards and 4 guests.
Safety forces then shot the attacker lifeless, the Inside Ministry mentioned. The injured embody six members of the safety forces and 4 civilians, the ministry mentioned.
The Tunisian overseas ministry mentioned one of many guests killed was French and one was Tunisian.
The sound of gunshots on the synagogue had sparked panic among the many tons of of pilgrims, based on native media.
“The Ministry of the Inside confirms that the temple has been cordoned off and…all these inside and out of doors the temple have been secured, and analysis is continuous to seek out out the explanations for this treacherous and cowardly assault,” the ministry said in a statement.
Based on organisers, greater than 5,000 Jewish trustworthy, largely from abroad, participated on this 12 months’s pilgrimage to Ghriba, which resumed in 2022 after two years of pandemic-related suspension.
Tunisia has no diplomatic ties with Israel, however Israelis are allowed entry to the nation as a part of organised excursions to the island for the pilgrimage.
Primarily Muslim Tunisia is dwelling to considered one of North Africa’s largest Jewish communities. Although they now quantity fewer than 1,800 folks, Jews have lived in Tunisia since Roman occasions.
Gunmen killed scores of foreign tourists in two separate assaults at a seaside resort and a Tunis museum in 2015.
Tunisia’s final vital safety incident was an explosion focusing on police outdoors the US embassy in 2020 that killed one officer. Two suicide blasts focused police outdoors the French embassy in 2019, additionally killing one officer.
The US ambassador to Tunisia had visited the synagogue on Monday together with the US envoy for monitoring and combating antisemitism, based on a US embassy put up on Twitter.