A Tunisian naval guard killed four people and injured nine others Tuesday as he tried to reach a synagogue on the island of Djerba.
The attack happened during an annual pilgrimage to the Ghriba synagogue, Africa’s oldest, which brings hundreds of people from Europe and Israel each year.
Tunisia’s interior ministry said in a statement that the assailant first shot another guard at a naval installation and took his ammunition before heading to the synagogue.
The attacker then fired at security personnel outside the synagogue, killing one officer and two visitors. Security guards then shot the attacker dead.
Tunisia’s foreign ministry identified the two visitors killed as a Tunisian and a French national.
The synagogue was the site of a 2002 truck bombing that killed 21 tourists.
“The United States deplores the attack in Tunisia coinciding with the annual Jewish pilgrimage that draws faithful to the El Ghriba Synagogue from around the world,” State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said in a statement. “We express condolences to the Tunisian people and commend the rapid action of Tunisian security forces.”
Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.