Attacker stabs guard at U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv - police

TEL AVIV Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:42pm IST

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TEL AVIV (Reuters) - A man stabbed a security guard at the U.S. embassy in Tel Aviv on Tuesday and was apprehended, a police spokesman said, and Israel Radio reported the assailant was an Israeli with a criminal background.

The motive for the attack, which occurred outside the beachfront embassy, was not immediately known.

"A Mazda car stopped next to the U.S. embassy and a man got out carrying a red bag and a pitchfork," said David Cohen, 48, who told Reuters he witnessed the incident while jogging along Tel Aviv's Mediterranean promenade.

"He began to run toward the security guards. They saw him, took their guns out and told him to get down on the ground," Cohen said.

"He continued running and then they fired in the air and ordered him against to lie down. He continued to advance. They jumped on him and took his bag away."

The police spokesman said one of the guards was slightly wounded and the attacker was taken into custody. Israel Radio said the assailant was a 41-year-old Israeli Jew with a criminal record.

(Writing by Ori Lewis, Reporting by Maayan Lubell and Baz Ratner, Editing by Jeffrey Heller)

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