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7 Mar, 2008 08:27

Russia condemns Jewish school massacre

At least nine people have been killed and more wounded when a gunman opened fire in Merkaz Harav, a Jewish seminary. The UN Security Council called an emergency session but failed to agree the wording of a statement denouncing the attack.

Russia's Foreign Ministry has condemned Thursday's act of terrorism in Jerusalem where eight people were killed and at least ten wounded after a Palestinian gunman opened fire in a Jewish seminary in the Israeli city.

The attacker entered the school's library during a night-time study session and fired an automatic weapon at students.

Witnesses say the attacker went into the dining hall, where some 80 people were gathered, and opened fire.

The gunman, who Israeli police said was a resident of East Jerusalem, was then shot dead by an off-duty Israeli soldier.

Apart from the gunman, those killed were all college students aged between 15 and 26.

On Friday thousands of mourners poured into Jerusalem to take part in the funerals of the victims.

Israel has imposed a temporary security clampdown on the city and the West Bank to prevent violence.

Earlier the UN Security Council called an emergency meeting but failed to reach an agreement to denounce the attack.

Libya and some other countries blocked the statement.

They insisted it should include condemnation of Israel's recent actions in Gaza, which killed more than 120 Palestinians.

However, Russia's ambassador to the U.N. says the violence in Jerusalem was a clear-cut act of terrorism intended to unleash bloodshed in the Middle East.

“To see people walk into religious school and open fire on the students there – that is really something we should give one pose, especially those, who care about religion. From any standpoint, from the standpoint of a clear-cut act of individual terrorism specifically targeted against civilians and the cruelty and absurdity of it all, to say nothing of the political motivation, which was clearly and obviously not just to inflict violence but to cause more violence, this is a despicable act which deserves condemnation,” Churkin said.