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Palestinian stabs passengers on Tel Aviv bus

Jan. 21, 2015 9:40 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 21, 2015 7:56 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (AFP) -- A Palestinian wounded at least five passengers in a stabbing rampage on a Tel Aviv bus on Wednesday, before being shot by a passing prison officer, Israeli police said.

The attacker struck in the morning rush hour in the heart of Israel's largest city, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.

Five people were moderately to seriously wounded, while four were lightly injured, she said, citing emergency services at the scene.

Israel's Ynet news site put the number of injured at 17.

It was not immediately clear if all the casualties had been stabbed or if they included some suffering from shock.

"The suspect is a 23-year-old Palestinian from (the West Bank town of) Tulkarem," Samri said.

"The attacker was foiled by an officer from the prisons service who shot and wounded him in the leg.

"Police arrested the terrorist. He was taken to hospital and for further interrogation," she added.

Palestinian security sources identified the attacker as 23-year-old Hamza Muhammad Hasan Matrouk from Tulkarem refugee camp in the northern West Bank.

Locals from the camp told Ma'an that Hamza was not affiliated to any political faction. They said that Israeli forces summoned his father and other family members for questioning at offices of the Israeli military liaison department.

"Last night Hamza and I hung out with friends in the camp until 11 p.m. and we had fun," a friend of Hamza's told Ma'an. He added that he didn't notice anything unusual with Hamza.

"He was laughing and kidding and I know very well that he isn't affiliated to any faction."

Ma'an staff contributed to this report.
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