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Friday prayers cancelled post attack in Jerusalem’s Old City

ATTENTION EDITORS - VISUAL COVERAGE OF SCENES OF INJURY OR DEATH Israeli policemen check the body of an assailant after he was shot dead by Israeli police at the compound known to Muslims as Noble Sanctuary and to Jews as Temple Mount, in Jerusalem's Old City July 14, 2017. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Jerusalem [Israel]: Three attackers were shot dead by the police during a shootout near the entrance to the Temple Mount complex in Jerusalem’s Old City on Friday morning, during an attack in which three people were wounded with two critically injured.

Following the attack, Friday prayers at the complex were cancelled by police for the first time in years.

According to a report by the Haaretz, the police said that three armed assailants arrived at one of the gates to the Temple Mount when they noticed policemen present. They shot at them and escaped in the direction of the mosques on Temple Mount. They were then pursued killed by the policemen.

The last time Friday prayers were cancelled at the site was in 2000. The current cancellation could lead to tensions in East Jerusalem, according to the report.

Some reports in the Israeli media also suggested the attackers were Israeli citizens of Palestinian origin. The suspicion was raised by documents found on the bodies, including ID cards and a driving licence, which police were checking to see if they were genuine.

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. (ANI)