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Shooting attack near Jerusalem's Temple Mount 'claims several casualties'

Israeli police say a shooting in Jerusalems Old City has caused a number of casualties. They said three attackers fired on them before being killed.

Three attackers opened fire near Jerusalems holiest site, the Temple Mount, on Friday, injuring three Israelis before being shot dead by police, Israeli officials said.

Two of those injured were critically hurt and were receiving life-saving treatment, according to ambulance personnel.

The Temple Mount, known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary (Haram al-Sharif), is sacred in both the Judaistic and the Islamic tradition.

Police said Friday Muslim prayers would not be held at the site following the shooting. They said they were still working to identify the attackers.

Focus of tensions

The site has often been a flashpoint for clashes and protests, although there has seldom been gunfire. It is considered the third-holiest site in Islam and the holiest in Judaism.

Jerusalem is still in the grip of a series of Palestinian street attacks that began in 2015, though the violence has slowed.

Since September 2015, Palestinian attackers have killed 43 Israelis, two visiting and a British tourist. Israeli forces have killed more than 254 Palestinians in that time, with authorities describing most of the dead as attackers.

tj/ng (Reuters, AFP)
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