4 soldiers killed in Jerusalem lorry attack

Authorities are describing a truck deliberately driven into a popular Jerusalem promenade as an act of terror.
The Israeli soldiers were run over by a lorry in what was described by police as a terrorist attack. The driver was also killed.
The Israeli soldiers were run over by a lorry in what was described by police as a terrorist attack. The driver was also killed.PHOTO: AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

JERUSALEM • Four Israeli soldiers were killed when they were run over by a lorry in Jerusalem, in what police are treating as a deliberate attack.

"It is a terrorist attack, a ramming attack," a police spokesman said on Israel Radio.

Mr Arie Jaffe, of the United Hatzalah emergency service, said the driver was also killed in the incident in West Jerusalem yesterday.

Palestinian security officials in the West Bank city of Ramallah said he was a Palestinian from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Jabel Mukaber, close to the scene of the attack.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said the man was likely a supporter of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. "We know the identity of the attacker. According to all the signs, he is a supporter of Islamic State. We have sealed off Jabel Mukaber, the neighbourhood from where he came, and we are carrying out other actions which I will not detail," he said.

Since October 2015, a wave of violence has left 247 Palestinians, 40 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese dead, according to Agence France-Presse.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities. Others were shot dead during protests or clashes, while some died in Israeli air strikes on the Gaza Strip.

The police quoted rescue services as saying that 15 Israelis were injured, one seriously, in yesterday's ramming incident.

Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the victims were among a group of soldiers alighting from a bus at a promenade which has a scenic view of the Old City.

The bus driver said they had been on a cultural tour of the city.

Mr Rosenfeld said that the lorry driver suddenly "ran his vehicle into them". The soldiers fired on the driver, who reversed and ran over them again.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 09, 2017, with the headline '4 soldiers killed in Jerusalem lorry attack'. Print Edition | Subscribe