February 3, 2015 / 2:23 PM / in 3 years

Bus carrying Israeli Muslims from prayer crashes, eight dead

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - A collision involving a truck and a bus carrying Israeli Muslims returning from prayer at Jerusalem’s al Aqsa mosque killed eight people on Tuesday, police and local officials said.

At least 24 people were injured in the crash at a junction in southern Israel near several Bedouin Arab towns, medical officials said. Most of the casualties were women, they said.

Israel’s Channel Two TV cited witnesses as saying that a tractor being ferried by the truck came loose and toppled into the bus.

The mayor of the nearby town of Rahat, Talal al-Kariani, told the station that the bus passengers were mostly elderly, local Muslims, who go to pray at the al Aqsa mosque in daily organized or weekly trips.

The al Aqsa mosque is the third holiest site in Islam.

Writing by Dan Williams; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Raissa Kasolowsky

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