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Terrorists Foiled in Attacks on Israeli Ambassador’s Home, Israeli Plane in Nicosia

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Arab terrorists staged simultaneous attacks on the Israeli Ambassador’s residence in Nicosia, Cyprus today and on an Israeli airliner at Nicosia Airport. Of the nine terrorists who took part in both assaults, one was killed, four were wounded, three were captured and one escaped. A Cypriot policeman on guard at the Ambassador’s home was seriously injured.

Ambassador Rahamim Timor was not at home at the time of the attack. His wife and daughter who were, were not hurt. The Embassy residence was damaged and some damage was done to the Israeli plane.

Both attacks occurred at about 3 p.m. Cyprus time. The attack on the Ambassador’s home was made from a rented car whose occupants hurled grenades and sticks of dynamite at the first floor of the three-story building. As they sped from the scene, the terrorists were blocked by a Cypriot police van and a gun duel ensued. Two of the terrorists were wounded and another was captured. The fourth occupant of the car escaped and is the object of an Island-wide manhunt.

The five Arabs who attacked the Israeli airliner entered the airport in a Land Rover-type jeep after overcoming the armed guard at one of the gates. They drove to an area of the airstrip where a plane of “Arkia,” Israel’s domestic airline, was being refueled and serviced for its return flight to Lod Airport. The plane, a 4-engined Herald turbo-prop transport on charter to El Al for its Lod-Cyprus service; had just disembarked 40 passengers who were passing through customs inspection at a nearby shed.

The terrorists opened fire on the aircraft. An El Al security_guard returned the fire killing one of the attackers and wounding two others. The remaining two fled in the jeep but lost control of the vehicle and collided with the plane, causing it some damage. They were promptly captured by airport police.

Today’s attacks were the latest in a series of Arab terrorist activities in Cyprus. A month ago an Israeli leather merchant, Simha Glitzer, was shot to death by a young Jordanian as he was leaving his Nicosia hotel. The assailant escaped. Earlier, two Arab passengers suspected of being terrorists were removed from an Israel-bound Italian passenger liner at Famagusta and placed aboard a plane for Beirut.

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