Tragedy Strikes Tunisian Synagogue: Fatal Shooting Claims Lives of Worshippers and Security Guard
The Ministry of Interior announced on Tuesday that a security guard began shooting near a synagogue on the Tunisian island of Djerba, resulting in three deaths, including the attacker. The visitors killed at the Ghriba Synagogue were a 30-year-old person from Tunisia and a 42-year-old person from France, while the third death was a security guard killed by the attacker. The Interior Ministry stated that the attacker killed his colleague, seized ammunition, and randomly opened fire at security posts near the synagogue where pilgrims were visiting. The security guards fired back and killed the attacker. Additionally, four civilians and five security personnel were injured.The synagogue was hosting the festival for the Jewish holiday Lag Baomer, which was being attended by around 1,000 people, including Jewish locals and pilgrims from Israel, France, and other countries. The festival traditionally interrupts the mourning period between Passover and the harvest festival of Shavuot. The Jewish community in Tunisia has dwindled to around 1,800, mostly on Djerba, from a peak of 100,000 in the mid-20th century.The Interior Ministry said that the synagogue was cordoned off, and an investigation is ongoing to determine the reason for the “treacherous and cowardly attack.” The attack occurred despite extra tight security measures in place during the festival each year.Videos circulating on social media showed panicked people running through a neighbouring building to the synagogue while gunshots were heard. Tunisia suffered a series of attacks in 2015 that targeted the tourism industry, its primary source of income, most of which were claimed by extremist militia. In 2002, a suicide attack on the synagogue left 21 people dead, including 14 German tourists.