crime scene 88.
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After three young men were gunned down Saturday afternoon in Taiba, police were investigating whether the shootings indicated a resurgence of warfare between two rival local families.
Although the bitter fighting between the Hariri and al-Kader families was thought to have been put to rest following over 21 murders, the weekend shooting in which one man was killed and two wounded seemed to indicate that the cycle of violence had begun anew in the Sharon-area city.
In the early afternoon Saturday, masked gunmen sprayed fire from a moving vehicle into an auto parts store at a gas station near Taiba. A 14-year-old and an 18-year-old were both wounded in the hail of bullets, and were taken to Kfar Saba's Meir Hospital. The older boy was hospitalized in critical condition and the younger in serious condition.
Minutes later, a 24-year-old Taiba resident was shot and killed at a nearby restaurant. The victim, like the two teenagers a member of the al-Kader family, was working at the restaurant, when assailants entered the eatery and gunned him down.
After receiving reports of the shootings, police swarmed to the scenes of the crimes, and a police helicopter was dispatched to try to locate the getaway car, but to no avail.
Police speculated that the shootings Saturday may have been in revenge for the Tuesday murder of 29-year-old Umm el-Fahm resident Nimmer Hariri. Hariri was gunned down in a parking lot near Kafr Kasim, and his cousin was moderately wounded in the hail of bullets.
The two families have a long history of violence throughout the last decades. In recent years, the Hariri family relocated to Umm el-Fahm in order to reduce conflict in their native Taiba.
While police could not confirm that the Tuesday murder was the first chapter in another long chain of violence between the two families, the same special investigative team from the Sharon Subdistrict's elite Central Investigative Unit [CIU] that was probing the Hariri murder was also tasked with investigating Saturday's violence.