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World - Middle East

Palestinian kills 4 in Baghdad synagogue

BAGHDAD, Iraq (CNN) -- Two Jews and two Muslims were killed Sunday when a man walked into a synagogue and opened fire, Iraqi officials said.

The man, identified as Mohammad Ali al-Sharkawi, was traveling on an Egyptian passport, officials said. They said he was a Palestinian who was born in Kuwait, went to Bulgaria in 1986, and then to Iraq in 1991.

He will face trial after he is interrogated, they said.

Iraq's Cabinet, in a meeting chaired by President Saddam Hussein, condemned the shootings, the Iraqi News Agency reported.

The Jewish community in Baghdad -- the site of the only active synagogue in Iraq -- is small. Only about 100 Jews remain in Iraq, remnants of what was once one of the most prosperous and influential Jewish communities in the Middle East. About 350,000 Iraqi Jews emigrated to Israel.

The shooting occurred hours before the Jewish festival of Sukkot, a seven-day holiday commemorating the desert wanderings of the biblical Israelites.

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