Israel: Four killed in shopping centre attack

Four people have been killed and several others wounded in an attack in southern Israel, police say.

Three were stabbed to death outside the BIG shopping centre in Beersheba, while a fourth was rammed by a vehicle driven by the assailant, they say.

The attacker was shot dead by a bus driver. Local media reports say the assailant was an Israeli Arab, though this has not been confirmed.

It is the deadliest such attack in Israel for several years.

Footage from the scene shows a bearded man in the street outside the area, holding what appears to be a large knife, as traffic passes by. In another video, he is confronted by a man with a gun, who opens fire when the assailant lunges at him with the knife.

A number of wounded people, some reported to have critical injuries, have been taken to hospital.

The incident follows a spate of stabbings by Palestinians of Israelis in recent weeks. It is the third such attack since Saturday.

Police said Tuesday’s incident began when the suspect stabbed a woman at a petrol station, then drove to a shopping centre where he rammed into a cyclist. He then went to a second shopping centre across the street, where he stabbed more people, before being confronted and shot.

Local media reports say the attacker was an Israeli Arab Bedouin from the town of Hura, about 12 miles (19km) east of Beersheba. They say he had previously served time in an Israeli prison for security offences and was known by the security services to be a supporter of the Islamic State (IS) militant group.

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