Three gay teens die In Tel Aviv attack

Sat. August 1, 2009 12:00 AM by

Three gay teens were killed and at least 10 others wounded during an attack on a gay club in Tel Aviv, the BBC reported.

Witnesses say a masked, lone gunman stormed into the Tel Aviv Gay and Lesbian Association building and sprayed automatic fire in a basement room as a support group for gay teenagers assembled.

City Councillor Yaniv Weizman told the BBC, "It's a big shock in Tel Aviv, one of the most liberal and free cities," and described the city as the heart of the gay and lesbian community in Israel.

Weizman, however, did admit that the LGBT community continues to face discrimination is Israel.

"It is not surprising that such a crime can be committed [because of the] incident of hatred against the homosexual community," gay activist Mai Pelem told the AFP.

The incident sparked off a citywide manhunt to catch the killer. Police quickly set up roadblocks.

Weisman called the incident a "premeditated" hate crime. "Those hurt were very young," he added.

"Without a doubt the biggest ever attack on the Israeli gay community, we are all in shock," openly gay Knesset member Nitzan Horowitz told reporters.

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