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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Gunmen Launch Deadly Series of Attacks in Israel Near Egyptian Border

At least eight are dead and another 40 injured after a "terror squad" infiltrated Israel and attacked soldiers, a passenger bus and a vehicle near the border with Egypt, an Israeli military spokesman said.

"This is a combined terrorist attack against Israelis," said Israeli military spokeswoman Lt. Col. Avital Leibovich.

Israel responded to the attacks with an airstrike on a house in Gaza. Five militants, including one known to be manufacturing rockets and a girl were killed in the strike. But a senior Israeli defense official says gunfire is continuing into the evening from both sides of the Israel-Egypt border.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also told a news conference that Israel will not reconcile itself to stepped-up attacks from Egypt's Sinai Peninsula and anyone who attacks Israel will pay "a very heavy price."

The attacks on Israelis began at midday and lasted for three hours, beginning when gunmen opened fire on a passenger bus near the border.

Israel Radio said a vehicle had followed the bus, and two to three gunmen got out and opened automatic weapons fire.

TV footage showed the bus pulled over by a red rocky cliff. Windows and a door of the bus were shattered, and soldiers were patrolling the area on foot. Inside the bus, seats were stained with blood and luggage littered the aisle.

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