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Three killed in attack near Jerusalem holy site

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Jerusalem, July 14 (IANS) Three gunmen were shot dead and two Israeli civilians injured on Friday during a shootout near a holy site in Jerusalem, the media reported.

The shootout took place outside the hilltop complex known to the Jews as Temple Mount and to Muslims as Haram al-Sharif.

According to reports by Israeli police, the three assailants, armed with two homemade Carlo submachine guns and a hand gun, shot at several police officers near the Lion’s Gate entrance to the site, before running into the compound, reports the Guardian.

"When they saw policemen they shot towards them and then escaped towards one of the mosques in the Temple Mount compound," police spokesman Luba Samri said.

"A chase ensued and the three terrorists were killed by police."

Israeli authorities are still working to identify the attackers, the Guardian quoted police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld as saying.

The site, which houses the al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third-holiest site, and the seventh-century Dome of the Rock, is also revered by Jews as the site of the historic Temple.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident the area was cleared of visitors and closed, with the police announcing that Friday prayers, usually attended by thousands, would be cancelled.

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