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Israeli man attacks US embassy guard in Tel Aviv
November 20, 2012 16:20
Attacker stabs, injures security guard with axe and knife; warning shots fired; shooter remains in police custody.
Crime scene [illustrative]

Police generic in english crime scene 370. (photo credit:REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

An Israeli man stabbed a security guard outside the US embassy in Tel Aviv late Tuesday morning, lightly injuring him in his leg.

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The man, a 41-year-old Jew from Bat Yam, was armed with an axe and a knife according to Israel Police Yarkon sub-district commander Yoram Ohayon.

"He began to run toward the security guards. They saw him, took their guns out and told him to get down on the ground," said David Cohen, 48, who witnessed the incident while jogging along Tel Aviv's Mediterranean promenade.

"He continued running and then they fired in the air and ordered him again to lie down. He continued to advance,” Cohen added.

Ohayon explained the security guards shot a few warning shots at the individual but it was a police officer who managed to control and arrest him in the end.

Isabel Alort, a tourist from Switzerland was sitting at the cafe next door for breakfast when she loud heard screams and gunshots: “The guy was screaming, so were the guards and then suddenly. It took about ten minutes for the police to arrive and put him down on the ground.”

“I wanted to see what was going on, but I was scared I hid against the wall,” said Alort, who is on a ten-day vacation in Israel, “It was the first time I ever heard gunshots, it was so scary I started praying.”

Yoram Ohayon stated the incident does not seem to be related to the current security situation in the country: “In this case, at the beginning of the investigation, We won’t speak about a terror attack, we’re talking about a criminal attack.”

“We see no connection between the security situation and what happened today at the American embassy,” he added, “I hope we find out more during the investigation.”

The US embassy said in a statement that there was an incident but that "the situation is under control."

Reuters contributed to this report
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