Thursday, April 25, 2013

Djerba pilgrimage to go ahead amid tight security

This year's Lag La'Omer celebrations at the al-Ghriba synagogue in Djerba appear to be going ahead, but with unprecedented security, reports the Jerusalem Post (with thanks: Lily) :

Tunisian police have upped security on the island of Djerba ahead of the anticipated arrival of hundreds of Jewish pilgrims to the El Ghriba synagogue.

The pilgrims were expected to arrive on the island of Djerba on Thursday, according to the Italian news agency ANSAmed. The news site Tunivisions reported security will be much tighter than in previous years.
The synagogue, which is located in the village of Hara Seghira, or 'Er-Riadh,' dates back to 586 B.C. In 2002, terrorists blew up a vehicle near the synagogue, killing 21 people.

ANSAmed reported that hundreds of armed officers are lining the entrance to the island as well as at the traditional sites where pilgrims gather for prayers.

Over the past few weeks, security forces have arrested a few hundred people suspected of having ties to Muslim extremist groups, the news agency reported.

Read article in full 

Last year's pilgrimage

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