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El Ghriba Synagogue Bombing (2002)
El Ghriba Synagogue Bombing (2002)
April 11, 2002
Total victims:
Photo by upyernoz - Flickr

El Ghriba Synagogue Bombing (2002)

1 Jew was killed in an antisemitic attack in Djerba, Tunisia on 4/11/2002

The attack on Tunisia's El Ghriba synagogue, killing 21, was one of the deadliest terrorist acts in the country's history, targeting Jewish pilgrims.

The attack on the El Ghriba synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia, on April 11, 2002, stands as one of the deadliest terrorist acts in the country's history, marking a dark day for both Tunisia and the global Jewish community. This heinous act not only targeted a place of worship but also struck at the heart of Tunisia's reputation as a peaceful and hospitable nation, significantly impacting its tourism industry and international relations.


The El Ghriba synagogue, one of the oldest Jewish temples in the world, is located on the island of Djerba. It has been a site of pilgrimage for hundreds of years, attracting visitors from around the world with its rich history and cultural significance. Despite its remote location, the synagogue's fame within the Jewish diaspora made it a symbolic target for extremists looking to propagate their message of hate and intolerance.

Details of the Attack:

On the day of the attack, a truck filled with natural gas cylinders was driven to the synagogue's entrance. The vehicle, disguised as a utility truck, was detonated by the driver, identified as Nizar Naouar, a Tunisian national with ties to al-Qaeda. The explosion resulted in the death of 21 people, including 14 German tourists, 2 French nationals, and 5 Tunisians. Approximately 30 others were injured. The attack was meticulously planned to cause maximum casualties, targeting foreign tourists to draw international attention and disrupt Tunisia's tourism-dependent economy.

Victims of the Attack:

The victims of the El Ghriba synagogue bombing were primarily foreign tourists who had come to Djerba to explore its historic sites and enjoy its beauty. The German tourists, part of a larger group visiting Tunisia, bore the brunt of the casualties. Their loss sent shockwaves through Germany and Europe, highlighting the global reach of terrorism and its indiscriminate nature. The Tunisian victims included security personnel and civilians, underscoring the local impact of global terrorism.

The aftermath of the attack saw a significant increase in security measures throughout Tunisia, especially at tourist sites and places of worship. The incident spurred international cooperation against terrorism and underscored the need for vigilance and solidarity in combating extremism.

The El Ghriba synagogue bombing remains a tragic reminder of the ongoing threat of terrorism and the importance of protecting sacred spaces and innocent lives from acts of violence. It also illustrates the resilience of communities in the face of such tragedies, as the synagogue continues to be a site of pilgrimage and a symbol of the enduring spirit of the Jewish people.

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