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Germany: Tunisia Blast Near Synagogue Was Deliberate

The death toll from Thursday's truck explosion at a historic synagogue in Tunisia has climbed to 16, after two more German tourists died. Tunisian officials say the explosion of a gas-filled truck outside the synagogue on Thursday was an accident. But Germany's interior minister says there are indications it was an attack.

The Tunisian government says it was a tragic accident, and that investigations so far do not indicate the truck explosion was an attack. The government says the driver of the truck lost control of his vehicle and slammed into a wall outside the El Ghriba Jewish shrine on the island of Djerba.

But German Interior Minister Otto Schily, speaking on German television Saturday, said there were indications that the blast was a deliberate attack. Mr. Schily said German officials are aiding Tunisian authorities in the investigation.

Tunisia's Jewish population is estimated at 2,000. Each year, thousands of Jews from around the world make a pilgrimage to the synagogue.

The explosion comes amid a series of attacks on synagogues, particularly in France, in the wake of the growing Israeli-Palestinian violence.