Four people have been killed in Jerusalem by a Palestinian man who drove a lorry into a group of soldiers, in what police called a terror attack.
The Israeli police are calling the incident a terror attack. The driver of the vehicle, whom police said was a resident of East Jerusalem, was shot dead at the scene.
The soldiers targeted by the assailant were on an educational trip along with several other groups, according to the Israeli paper Haaretz.
The mayhem occurred when the truck appeared to veer off course and barreled into the soldiers, who had just gotten off a bus, police spokeswoman Luba Samri said.
Security footage appeared to show the truck moving at high speed and the soldiers located well off the road at the time they were struck, according to The Associated Press. The AP also reported that the footage showed vehicle appearing to back up, running over more people as it did. The source of the footage was not immediately clear, the AP said.
An instructor who was escorting the soldiers on the trip told Israeli media that he shot and killed the truck driver before anyone else was hurt. Other soldiers also opened fire, he said.
Trucks have been used as weapons in several high-profile terrorist attacks in recent years, including the Bastille Day attack in Nice, France, last July that killed over 80 people, and the Christmas market attack in Berlin, Germany, that killed a dozen people in late December.
According to the AP, since last year, Palestinian attackers have killed 36 Israelis and two visiting Americans in a series of mostly stabbing attacks. During that time, 229 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire. Israel says most of the Palestinians killed were attackers while the rest died in clashes.
Israel says the violence is driven by Palestinian incitement. Palestinians say it’s the result of nearly 50 years of Israeli occupation.
Mark Toner, a deputy spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, issued a statement on today’s truck attack.
“We condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s horrific vehicular attack by a terrorist in Jerusalem. There is absolutely no justification for these brutal and senseless attacks,” the statement said. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the four Israeli soldiers who were killed, and we hope for a full and fast recovery of those injured.”