Three assailants killed amidst shooting attack in East Jerusalem

Source: Xinhua| 2017-07-14 16:58:58|Editor: Zhang Dongmiao
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JERUSALEM, July 14 (Xinhua) -- Three assailants carried out a shooting attack, wounding three Israeli policemen outside the al-Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem on Friday morning, were shot dead, the police said.

The incident occurred after the morning prayers in the flashpoint holy site of the al-Aqsa compound.

According to police spokeswoman Luba Samri, three armed men opened fire towards a group of police officers that were stationed near the gates of the compound.

Three policemen were wounded in the shooting. Two police officers were taken to hospital in a critical condition. The third casualty suffers moderate wounds, Israel's emergency medical service said in a statement.

"After the shooting, they had run away towards the mosques in the compound," Samri said, but the assailants were shot dead by the police following a manhunt.

Two Carl Gustaf rifles and a handgun were found in a search on their bodies.

Commander of the Jerusalem District Yoram Halevi ordered to shut down the compound after the incident, canceling all the Friday prayers in the site.

The incident was the latest in a spate of violence that started in mid-September 2015. Palestinian attackers have killed 42 Israelis, two U.S. tourists, and a British student, in stabbing, shooting, and vehicular attacks since then.

Meanwhile, Israelis have killed at least 250 Palestinians, most of them were identified by Israel as assailants, as well as two African asylum seekers and two Jordanian tourists that were mistaken as attackers.

Much of the violence has been centered around the al-Aqsa compound, a site sacred both to Muslims, who revered it as Haram al-Sharif, and to Jews, who revered it as the Temple Mount.

Israel has accused the Palestinian National Authority of "inciting" the unrest. The Palestinians said it was the result of the 50-year Israeli occupation of the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, home to more than 5 million Palestinians.