2 Jews Killed in Baghdad Attack

A former member of the Israeli Knesset has said he believes the man who killed four people, two of them Jews, in a Baghdad synagogue Sunday acted alone.

Mordechai Ben-Porat, the head of a group of Iraqi Jews, also said he is confident Iraq would punish the man who has been charged in the killing.

Meanwhile, the Iraqi Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by President Saddam Hussein, condemned the killing.

A Cabinet statement released Sunday said a Palestinian born in Kuwait, Mehdi Mohammed-ali al-Sharaqwi, was responsible for the murders. The statement also said that he had been arrested and would be put on trial.

Ibrahim Youssef Shaleh, the leader of Baghdad’s Jewish community, said the attack, which occurred hours before Sukkot, was the work of a “radical, ignorant or a mercenary.”

The two Muslims were reportedly in the synagogue to pay rent for properties belonging to the community.

Fewer than 100 Jews currently live in Iraq. More than 100,000 Iraqi Jews fled to Israel in the early 1950s.

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