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Photos: Jewish pilgrimage to Tunisia’s Ghriba Synagogue | Religion News

A police officer has shot lifeless two folks on an annual pilgrimage to a famend Tunisian synagogue on the island of Djerba in addition to two members of the safety providers earlier than he was killed, the inside ministry stated.

4 different guests to the Ghriba Synagogue – Africa’s oldest – and 5 extra safety officers have been wounded within the assault on Tuesday, in keeping with the ministry.

In an announcement, the Tunisian international ministry recognized the 2 worshippers killed as a Tunisian, aged 30, and a French nationwide, aged 42, however didn’t give their names.

The assault was carried out by a guard from Tunisia’s Nationwide Guard naval centre within the city of Aghir on Djerba who first shot lifeless a colleague and took his ammunition, in keeping with the inside ministry.

He then went to Ghriba Synagogue the place tons of of individuals have been on the annual pilgrimage, which was drawing to an in depth that evening.

The sound of gunshots on the synagogue sparked panic among the many tons of of pilgrims, native media reported.

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.

“Investigations are persevering with with a purpose to make clear the motives for this cowardly aggression,” the inside ministry stated.

The French embassy in Tunisia introduced it had arrange a “disaster unit” and an emergency hotline following the assault.

Coming between Passover and Shavuot, the pilgrimage to Ghriba is on the coronary heart of Jewish custom in Tunisia, the place solely about 1,500 Jews reside – primarily on Djerba – in contrast with near 100,000 earlier than independence in 1956.

Pilgrims additionally journey from Europe, the US and Israel to participate, though their numbers have dropped since a suicide truck bombing that killed 21 there in 2002.

Tuesday’s capturing got here because the tourism trade in Tunisia was lastly having fun with a rebound from pandemic-era lows, in addition to from the aftereffects of two assaults in Tunis and Sousse in 2015 that killed dozens of international guests.

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