Four killed in deadly shooting near Africa’s oldest synagogue

The synagogue on the island of Djerba

Two visitors and two security guards have been killed in a gun attack near Africa’s oldest synagogue, on the Tunisian island of Djerba.

The attack took place during an annual pilgrimage to the island, which attracts Jewish visitors from Europe and Israel.

A guard reportedly shot dead his partner before opening fire on visitors and security forces near the synagogue before being killed himself. His motivation was not clear.

One of the visitors killed is a French national. Four other visitors and five members of the security forces were injured.

It is not clear whether the visitors were pilgrims visiting the Ghriba synagogue. Video posted online, that has not been independently verified, showed visitors running as gunshots rang out.

More than 5,000 Jews participated in the 2022 pilgrimage to Ghriba, AFP news agency reported, citing local organisers.

It is not the first time the 2,500-year-old synagogue has been targeted.

In 2002 a bomb attack, claimed by al-Qaeda Islamist militants, killed more than 20 people on the island.

The annual pilgrimage to Djerba – about 500km (310 miles) from the capital, Tunis – has had tight security since the bombing.

Tunisia is a majority-Muslim country, but Djerba is home to hundreds of Jews.

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