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US condemns ‘outrageous’ Tel Aviv killing spree

An American tourist was killed and 12 others were wounded in the attack by a Palestinian on Tuesday

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The United States on Tuesday condemned a shooting and stabbing spree in Tel Aviv that killed an American tourist and left 12 people wounded.

“The United States condemns in the strongest possible terms today’s outrageous terrorist attacks in Jaffa, Petah Tikvah, and Jerusalem, which tragically claimed the life of US citizen Taylor Allen Force and left many others severely injured,” US State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement.

The attacker – a Palestinian around 21 years old from the occupied West Bank – was shot dead by police near where US Vice President Joe Biden was meeting with Israel’s former president, police said.

The slain American, Taylor Force, a 29-year-old native of Texas and a US army veteran, was a graduate student at Vanderbilt University, the school said in a statement.

“We offer our heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Taylor and all those affected by these senseless attacks, and we wish a speedy recovery for the injured,” Kirby said.

“As we have said many times, there is absolutely no justification for terrorism,” he added.

“We continue to encourage all parties to take affirmative steps to reduce tensions and restore calm.”

Five of the injured were in critical condition, officials said.

Further attacks

Two Palestinians opened fire at two different locations in Jerusalem on Wednesday, leaving one person seriously wounded, Israeli police said.

Both attackers were shot by police, with at least one killed. Police provided conflicting information on whether the second attacker had been killed or wounded.

The shootings were the latest in a string of attacks coinciding with US Vice President Joe Biden's arrival on Tuesday.