- Explosion on maiden voyage of cruise ship Norwegian Escape
- Conservative Cleverly and Labour’s Copley to contest London mayoral election
- Caroline Blakesley acclaimed as Labour Leader and new Prime Minister
- Macmillan tables a vote of no confidence in the Government
BBC World News (November 2013-)
Five Israelis killed in deadly attack on Jerusalem Synagogue
Five Israelis were killed and eight more wounded in a frenzied assault by two Palestinian men on Jewish worshippers praying at a Jerusalem synagogue in the most lethal incident in the city in years.
The two assailants who launched their attack with meat cleavers and a gun during early morning prayers were then killed by police officers in the ensuing gun battle at the scene of the attack.
The deaths occurred as the two men burst into the Bnei Torah synagogue in Har Nof, an ultra-Orthodox Jewish neighbourhood of West Jerusalem.
Three of the victims held dual US-Israeli citizenship.
Witnesses including worshippers, residents and a first-aider who entered the synagogue while the attack was continuing, described a chaotic and bloody scene as police and the attackers engaged in a shootout at the building’s entrance.
The attack is bound to ratchet up fears of sustained violence in the city, already on edge amid soaring tensions over a contested holy site.
The Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a militant group, released a statement. The statement did not specify whether the group instructed the two assailants to carry out the attack. Hamas, the militant Palestinian group that runs the Gaza Strip, also praised the attack.
Israel’s prime minister, Binyamin Netanyahu, vowed that Israel would “respond harshly” to the attack, describing it as a “cruel murder of Jews who came to pray and were killed by despicable murderers”.
The US secretary of state, John Kerry, said he spoke to Netanyahu after the assault and denounced it as an “act of pure terror and senseless brutality and violence”.
“Innocent people who had come to worship died in the sanctuary of a synagogue,” Kerry said, his voice quavering.
“They were hatcheted, hacked and murdered in that holy place in an act of pure terror and senseless brutality and murder. I call on Palestinians at every single level of leadership to condemn this in the most powerful terms. This violence has no place anywhere, particularly after the discussion that we just had the other day in Amman.”
The Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, condemned the attack, the first time he has done so since a recent spike in deadly violence against Israelis began. He also called for an end to Israeli “provocations” surrounding the sacred site.
Obama and Blakesley release joint statement on Norwegian Escape disaster
Earlier today we received notification of an explosion onboard the Norwegian Escape in the vicinity of Bermuda while underway from Southampton to Miami. Our most recent communications with the vessel indicate that the crew remains in control and that the vessel has halted in order to commence evacuation procedures in line with established protocol. Based on proximity, the United States dispatched naval vessels to the region in support of rescue operations. The United States task force will be joined by the RAF Lyme Bay, which is currently underway from Bermuda.
The exact cause of this explosion has yet to be determined and will be the subject of a thorough investigation upon the ship reaching harbour. However, we are treating this as a matter of the utmost seriousness. There will be answers. In the meantime, we will be enhancing security and screening of passengers of vessels leaving British ports until we determine the cause of this explosion. Until such a report can be completed, our priority is absolutely the rescue of those onboard the Norwegian Escape and ensuring the security of our people. They, of course, remain in our prayers and they will soon be safely in the care of our men and women in service to our nation.
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