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8 Killed in Shooting at Jerusalem Seminary; Gunman is Dead

Los Angeles Times

6 March 2008

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JERUSALEM — A man concealing an automatic weapon in a cardboard box slipped into a Jewish seminary here and opened fire in the library Thursday night, killing at least eight people in Israel's worst terrorist attack in nearly two years.

Jerusalem Police Chief Aharon Franco said the attack lasted more than 10 minutes before an Israeli army officer killed the assailant.

Rescue workers said at least 10 people were wounded. Most of the victims were men in their 20s. The bodies of the dead and wounded were strewn around the library and an adjacent stairwell.

In the Gaza Strip, the ruling Hamas movement praised the attack but stopped short of claiming responsibility. Thousands of Palestinians poured into the streets of Gaza to celebrate, firing rifles into the air.

In Lebanon, Hezbollah's Al-Manar television said a previously unknown group called the Martyrs of Imad Mughniyeh and Gaza claimed responsibility for the attack.

Mughniyeh, a top Hezbollah commander, was killed Feb. 12 by a car bomb in Syria. Hezbollah blamed his assassination on Israel, which denied any role in the death.

It was the highest Israeli death toll in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since April 17, 2006, when 11 people were killed and more than 60 wounded in a suicide bombing during the Passover holiday in Tel Aviv.

Witnesses described the assailant as a tall man with short hair wearing faded and torn blue jeans and a jacket-like vest. He was not identified.

Yaron Tzuker, a medic, said he arrived as the gunfire was still going on.

"They were still shooting when we got here," he told Channel 10 TV. "We took cover and the ambulance was hit. It's horrible inside — dead bodies and wounded — horrific."

ID: N584

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