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Unknown assailants on Tuesday shot dead a man in downtown Haifa in what police believe to be part of an ongoing gang war.

The victim, Ariel Ariel, 23, of Nesher, had been previously involved in racketeering and had a criminal record.

Police are currently investigating a possible connection between the shooting and an attempted murder at a Nesher pizza parlor last week.

Shots were heard Shortly before 7 A.M. on Jaffa Street in downtown Haifa. Ariel was shot several times and sustained wounds to his upper body. He was taken to Rambam Medical Center with critical wounds where he died upon arrival.

Preliminary testimonies from the scene reveal that the murder suspect fled the scene by entering a vehicle that sped away.