The motive for the assault was beneath investigation. It got here as Tunisia, as soon as a prized vacationer vacation spot and birthplace of the Arab Spring pro-democracy uprisings, has fallen into political and economic crisis.
Djerba, a picturesque island off the southern coast of Tunisia, is house to the North African country’s main Jewish community.
The civilians killed have been French and Tunisian, the Tunisian International Ministry stated. It was not instantly clear in the event that they have been pilgrims attending ceremonies on the 2,500-year-old Ghriba temple, one in every of Africa’s oldest synagogues.
These injured embody six safety brokers and 4 civilians, the Inside Ministry stated. It didn’t specify how they have been injured or whether or not they have been all shot by the attacker, who was not publicly recognized.
The assailant, a guard affiliated with the Nationwide Guard naval middle within the port city of Aghir on Djerba, first killed a colleague together with his service weapon after which seized ammunition and headed towards the Ghriba synagogue, the ministry stated.
When he reached the positioning, he opened hearth on safety items stationed on the temple, who fired again, killing him earlier than he reached the doorway, the ministry stated. The synagogue was locked down and people inside and outdoors have been saved safe whereas authorities examine the motives for the assault, the ministry stated.
Ghayda Thabet, a member of the Tunisian Affiliation for the Assist of Minorities, was on the Ghriba synagogue and appealed for assistance on Fb. “They’re taking pictures with stay ammunition. Assist us,” she pleaded in a put up.
Movies circulating on-line confirmed panic-stricken guests working whereas gunshots rang out.
It occurred throughout an annual pilgrimage that draws 1000’s of holiday makers from around the globe to Djerba.
In 2002, a truck bombing killed some 20 folks on the entrance to the identical temple through the annual Jewish pilgrimage. Al-Qaida claimed accountability for that assault, whose victims included German and French vacationers in addition to Tunisians.
In 2015, Tunisia noticed an attack on the Mediterranean resort of Sousse that killed 38, largely British vacationers. The Islamic State group claimed that assault, together with assaults that yr on the famed Bardo Museum within the capital Tunis and on a bus carrying presidential guards.