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5 indicted for gangland attack that killed teen under police’s nose

15-year-old was gunned down as officers were escorting family members along highway following fatal shooting the previous night

A car is seen by the roadside on Route 6 after it was shot at on December 28, 2020. One man died and another was critically injured in the suspected revenge attack (United Hatzalah)
A car is seen by the roadside on Route 6 after it was shot at on December 28, 2020. One man died and another was critically injured in the suspected revenge attack (United Hatzalah)

Indictments were filed Monday against five suspects over a deadly shooting in December, in which gunmen fired at a car under police escort on the Route 6 highway near the Nahshonim Junction, causing the vehicle to crash.

The attack killed 15-year-old Amar Abu Salok from Lod and critically wounded another family member.

Police suspect that the attack was in revenge for the killing of another man in Lod just hours earlier.

The cops were securing the transfer of the men to another city when the attack occurred, and failed to prevent it.

The suspects were named as brothers Anes and Mamoun Azbarga and relatives Muhammed and Omar Azbarga, all from Lod; and Hassan Azbarga, from the town of Zemer.

Amar Abu-Salok, left, was killed in a drive-by shooting on Route 6 in December 2020, and-Salman Azbarga, right, was killed in Lod a night prior. (courtesy)

The night before the fatal highway shooting, Salman Azbarga was found shot dead in Lod.

The five suspects, along with other Azbarga family members, gathered in a number of vehicles, with weapons and communications equipment, the morning after the Lod shooting, in an attempt to attack the rival family as they left their compound, a spokesperson for the police said.

Police said that during the escort, prior to the shooting, they identified one of the Azbarga vehicles attempting to get close to the Abu Salok car.

Passengers in a separate vehicle then opened fire with at least 13 rounds toward the Abu Salok family vehicle near Nahshonim Junction, causing the crash that ultimately killed Amar Abu Salok,

The suspects then drove to Qalansawe, set fire to their vehicle, and returned to the Azbarga compound in Lod in another car, police said.

According to the indictment, as Omar Azbarga returned to Lod, he was briefly detained by officers. However, some 100 members of the Azbarga family then began rioting, and managed to snatch Omar away from police.

According to the police, three of the suspects were arrested on the day of the attack, and the other two were picked up a few days later. They did not specify by name when each suspect was arrested.

The five suspects are charged with murder, attempted murder, aggravated assault, possession of weapons and ammunition, conspiracy to commit a crime, evidence tampering, and obstructing legal proceedings. Additionally, Omar Azbarga was charged with obstructing a police officer performing his duties, recklessness and negligence.

The Central District Attorney’s Office filed the indictments with the Central District Court, following the police investigation.

The Azbarga family has been feuding with the Abu Salok family since 2010, when a member of the former family was stabbed to death by a member of the latter during a brawl, after a member of the Azbarga family was kicked out of a mosque being renovated by the Abu Saloks, the Haaretz daily reported.

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