Several people killed in stabbing attack near Israeli shopping centre

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By AP  with Euronews
Officials have called the rampage a terror attack with nationalist motives.
Officials have called the rampage a terror attack with nationalist motives.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov

At least four people have been killed and two others seriously injured in a knife attack in the southern Israeli city of Beersheba.

The attacker rammed his car into a cyclist before stabbing five people outside the BIG shopping centre, police said on Tuesday.

The knife-wielding man was later killed by armed residents at the scene, authorities added.

Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai told reporters that the suspected attacker was a "terrorist known to security services who had previously served prison time”.

Shabtai added that the attacker seemed to have acted alone in an "abominable killing spree".

National media identified the attacker as a 34-year-old Israeli Arab man from the nearby Bedouin town of Hura, but police have not confirmed the identity.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett issued a statement of condolences to the families of the victims after the attack.

"We will work with a heavy hand against those who commit terror," Bennett said, "we will pursue and reach those who assist them, too.”

Palestinians have been accused of multiple stabbing, shooting and car-ramming attacks targeting Israeli civilians and security personnel in recent years.

Most of the alleged attacks were carried out by individuals with no known links to armed groups and it is rare that such attacks are committed by Palestinian citizens of Israel.