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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 November, 2003, 20:37 GMT
Tourist killed at Israel border
A wounded person is being carried to an Israeli hospital
The injured tourists were rushed to a local hospital
An Ecuadorian tourist has died after being shot by a gunman at a border crossing between Israel and Jordan.

The woman was one of five Ecuadorian tourists wounded in the attack near the southern Israeli resort of Eilat.

The gunman was killed by Israeli security forces, who say he approached from the Jordanian side of the border.

Jordan has condemned the attack in a region little affected by violence in recent years, calling it an "individual act of a lone gunman".

"We condemn this incident and Jordan's stance is clear against any acts of violence that target civilians," a Jordanian Government spokesperson Asma Khadr said.

He hit five tourists before border guards shot back and killed him. It was all over very quickly
Menachem Zelichovsky
Israeli border official

Jordanian officials identified the gunman as a lorry driver from the city of Zarqa, east of Amman.

He is not known to have had links with militant groups, Jordan said.

Arrests

The woman, reportedly in her 30s, was shot in the head and died soon after being evacuated to Soroko hospital is southern Israel, hospital officials said.

Map of region

Several suspected militants have been arrested on the Jordanian side of the border.

The shooting came a day after a Palestinian gunman killed two Israeli soldiers at a military checkpoint in the West Bank.

Palestinian security forces apprehended the suspected shooter in Bethlehem on Tuesday night.

The suspect, a member of Palestinian security forces in Bethlehem, is reported to have confessed.

The gunman on Wednesday fired at the border crossing from the Jordanian side.

"The gunman apparently hid among the trucks and opened fire 20 metres from the entrance to the Israeli passport check," said Menachem Zelichovsky, the Israeli official responsible for the crossing.

"He hit five tourists before border guards shot back and killed him. It was all over very quickly," the official told Reuters.

The border crossing has been closed and the wounded have been taken to hospital in Eilat.

They were reportedly crossing into Israel from Jordan.

The region around Eilat has been largely quiet in recent years.

Jordan and Israel signed a peace treaty in 1994, but more than half of Jordan's population is Palestinian and many people opposed normalising relations.


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