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Jerusalem: Palestinian plows truck into Israeli soldiers; four dead, 15 injured

Jerusalem: A Palestinian rammed a truck into a group of Israeli soldiers visiting a popular tourist spot in Jerusalem on Sunday, killing four and wounding at least 15 people, authorities said.

The driver was also killed at the location overlooking holy sites in the Old City such as the Dome of the Rock and providing one of the most spectacular views of Jerusalem. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu alleged the attacker "supported" the Islamic State group, though he provided no details on what led to the finding.

Jerusalem : Israeli police investigates the scene of an attack in Jerusalem . AP

Jerusalem : Israeli police investigates the scene of an attack in Jerusalem . AP

Chaos broke out at the scene when the truck ploughed through the crowd, with hundreds of soldiers having arrived there as part of a tour for troops about the history of Jerusalem.

"A lone terrorist drove his truck into a group of soldiers standing on the side of the road," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told reporters at the scene.

"They got off the bus, and as they were getting off the bus and getting organised, he took advantage."

Israel's military said one of its soldiers fired on the attacker and distributed video of him saying he shot after realising it was not an accident.

Multiple bullet holes could be seen in the windshield of the truck.

Police only confirmed four people were dead, but a medic at the scene said they were soldiers. Medics also reported that three of the victims were women, while all four were in their 20s.

Video said to be of the incident being shared online shows a flatbed truck with a crane in the rear drive through a group of soldiers standing next to a bus. The driver then pulls off to the side and tries to reverse back towards where the soldiers were hit before the truck eventually comes to a stop.

Ambulances rushed to the location and video showed visitors, including soldiers, running for cover as the incident began. Bodies were later covered in sheets.

"I heard my soldiers screaming and shouting," said one of the tour guides, Lea Schreiber.

"I saw a truck that went on the side of the road. Soldiers starting shooting... There were orders and screaming everywhere. They told them to hide behind the wall because there was fear of another attack."

Netanyahu later visited the scene along with Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman.

"We know the identity of the assailant, who according to all indications supported IS," Netanyahu said, according to a statement from his office.

Fawzi Barhum, a spokesman for Islamist movement Hamas which runs the Gaza Strip, saluted the attack, calling it "heroic and brave".

Palestinian security officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah said the driver was a Palestinian in his late 20s from the east Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabal Mukaber, located close to the scene.


Updated Date: Jan 08, 2017 22:17 PM

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