Wednesday, January 19, 2011

U.S. tourist murdered near Jerusalem

The body of a female U.S. tourist with multiple stab wounds was found early Sunday by Israeli security forces in a forest near Jerusalem, local daily Ha 'aretz reported on Sunday.

Large-scale searches conducted by police, soldiers and volunteers were launched after the tourist Christine Logan's friend, who hiked with her, reported they were attacked by assailants of Arab origin the day before.

Her friend, Kaye Wilson, a British national who immigrated to Israel in 1991, survived the attack because she came across an Israeli family who alerted the emergency services after finding her bleeding and her hands tied. Wilson was then transferred to the trauma unit of a Jerusalem hospital after sustaining moderate injuries, the report said.

She told police that two men of Arab descent attacked her and Logan while they were hiking through an archaeological site. Asked how she survived the attack, Wilson said that she pretended to be dead until the assailants had left, and then fled the scene.

A search for Logan and the killers was launched a short time later as hundreds of police officers, Israel Defense Forces soldiers and volunteers combed the area where she went missing. Roadblocks were set up along a nearby highway in attempt to prevent the assailants from fleeing the area, according to the report.

Israel's Shin Bet security service agents also arrived at the scene of the attack to examine forensic evidence amid speculations that it was nationalistically motivated.

Jerusalem District Police chief Aharon Franco said on Saturday that investigators are focusing their efforts to find the assailants in various directions, said the report.

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