Seven Killed in Series of Terrorist Attacks in Southern Israel

At least 26 wounded after armed gunmen fired on bus traveling near Eilat, close to Egypt border; IDF trades fire with gunmen; mortars fired from Egyptian border; IDF kills several terrorists.

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Seven people were killed and at least 26 people were wounded Thursday in a series of terrorist attacks on Israeli targets approximately 20 kilometers north of the southern city of Eilat, close to the border with Egypt.

The first attack, at around 12 P.M., was a drive-by shooting targeting Egged bus 392 traveling from Be'er Sheva to Eilat, near the Netafim junction.

The driver of a civilian bus that was ambushed is seen through a shattered window north of the Red Sea resort of Eilat on Thursday.Credit: Reuters/Lior Grundman
Israelis wait outside Yoseftal hospital in Eilat, following a series of terror attacks in southern Israel that left seven dead, August 18, 2011.
Rescue personnel arriving at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva with a victim of a series of terror attacks in southern Israel, in which seven people were killed, August 18, 2011.
IDF troops patrolling in the area of a series of terror attacks in southern Israel that left at least seven people dead, August 18, 2011.
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Israelis wait outside Yoseftal hospital in Eilat, following a series of terror attacks in southern Israel that left seven dead, August 18, 2011. Credit: Reuters
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Rescue personnel arriving at Soroka Hospital in Be'er Sheva with a victim of a series of terror attacks in southern Israel, in which seven people were killed, August 18, 2011.Credit: AP
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IDF troops patrolling in the area of a series of terror attacks in southern Israel that left at least seven people dead, August 18, 2011. Credit: AP
Terror in southern Israel 18.8.11

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View Shooting attacks north of Eilat in a larger map

Shortly afterward, IDF forces rushed to the scene and were faced with several explosive devices that were detonated alongside an IDF vehicle.

At approximately 12:35, a mortar was fired from Egypt to Israel. No casualties were reported.

At 1:10 P.M., a terrorist cell fired an anti-tank missile at a private vehicle, wounding seven.

Minutes later, another cell fired an anti-tank missile at a private vehicle, killing six.

The IDF Spokesman reported that two to four terrorists were killed during the clashes.

According to reports, the terrorists in the car opened fire at the Egged bus, which carried a significant number of soldiers leaving their bases for the weekend.

In the aftermath of the first attack, Israeli security forces launched a search for the vehicle thought to have transported the gunmen, setting up barricades in the area. A firefight erupted once the IDF troops caught up with the vehicle, in which several of the armed men were killed.

Two IDF helicopters were called to the scene in order to evacuate those wounded to Yoseftal hospital in Eilat and to Soroka hospital in Be'er Sheva.

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