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Eritrean man, beaten and shot in Israel after being mistaken for attacker, dies from wounds

A man has died from his wounds after being the victim of wrongful vigilante justice in southern Israel. Government authorities have condemned the man's attackers.

An Eritrean man died after being mistakenly shot and beaten following a shooting in southern Israel, officials said Monday.

On Sunday, an Arab gunman opened fire on a crowd in a bus station, killing an Israeli soldier and wounding nine other people. The assailant then engaged in a gun battle with authorities before fleeing outside, where he was shot dead.

Amid the confusion, an Eritrean migrant was shot by an Israeli security guard while crawling on the floor. A crowd of people, thinking the Eritrean man was the culprit, then surrounded him and began beating him, while several others rushed to his side in an attempt to protect him.

The man died later that night in hospital.

Reasons for the man's shooting are still unclear. Government officials and members of the media have reacted with disgust at the man's death.

"It's terrible," said Foreign Ministry spokesman Emmanuel Nahshon, according to the Associated Press news agency. "It shows you what a terrible situation we are in."

Speaking to members of his Likud Party on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Israel was a "law abiding" country where "no one should take the law into their own hands."

Tensions have run high in Israel amid a wave of violence that has seen some 29 knife attacks against Israelis by Palestinians since the beginning of October.

blc/jm (AP, dpa)

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