Israeli soldier and asylum seeker dead after bus station attack in Beersheba

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© Wikipedia
Beersheba in Israel

Two people are dead after an attack at a bus station in southern Israel on Sunday October 18.

An Israeli soldier was killed and 10 people were injured when an attacker entered the bus station with a knife and a gun and began shooting.

In the confusion following the attack a security guard shot an innocent asylum seeker and people in the crowd began attacking him in the mistaken belief that he was an accomplice to the initial shooting. The man, an Eritrean asylum seeker, died from his injuries.

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Police identified the assailant as Mohannad al-Okbi, an Arab citizen of Israel from the Bedouin town of Hura, and said he entered the central bus station in Beersheba and started shooting and stabbing people.

They confirmed that an Israeli soldier was killed and five policemen and five civilians were wounded to different degrees.

The attacker also took a weapon from the soldier he killed before himself being shot dead.

One man described the attack on the asylum seeker to Army Radio:

“I saw people gathering around him. I understood from the people around him that he was a terrorist. If I had known I would have helped him. In a moment of fear and pressure you do things you don’t understand.

“All the people gathering around the man attacked him. Nobody was helping him. People just were making sure he didn’t move. There was no human being who did not kick or beat him,” he added.

The bus station attack is one of the worst incidents recently as Israel has faced attacks by Palestinian assailants on an almost daily basis.

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