Jerusalem (CNN)Two Israelis have been critically injured after a shooting Friday in Jerusalem’s Old City, according to Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
Rosenfeld said three assailants armed with automatic weapons, who he identified as terrorists, targeted police units in the area. One tried to stab a police officer, he said.
All three were shot and killed and the area has been closed off, according to Rosenfeld. The victims have been transported to nearby hospitals.
Israeli police released images of what they say were the guns used by the attackers.
The incident took place near one of the world’s most important religious sites, called the Nobel Sanctuary by Muslims and the Temple Mount by Jews. It is home to the Western Wall — which used to be part of the Second Jewish Temple and is one of the holiest place for Jews to pray in the world — and the Dome of the Rock, where Muslims believe the prophet Muhammad ascended to heaven.
Fridays in Jerusalem are often a time of heightened security, as it’s the holy day of the week for Muslims and Shabbat for Jews begins at sundown.
There is currently a heavy police presence and the public has been barred from the area for the day, Rosenfeld said.
Muslims will not be able to pray during the closure. Worshipers at the Western Wall will likely not be affected, as it’s further away from the incident.
Though shootings attacks are rare, stabbings and vehicle attacks in Jerusalem have been common in recent years.
A man plowed his truck into a crowd of soldiers in January, killing four and injuring 10. The militant Islamist group Hamas, which runs the Gaza strip, praised that attack but did not claim responsibility.
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