Amman: A red laser dot appeared on his head, and seconds later he was shot dead. A member of the organisers rushed to his aid, only to have the man's brains spill out onto his hands.
This was the first death in the deadly attack on the Mavi Marmara — lead ship in the Freedom Flotilla carrying 700 aid workers, journalists and diplomats.
Israeli forces first attacked the ship 74 nautical miles from Gaza — six miles from the extended Israeli zone.
Israeli troops attacked the boat in three stages. The first attack came during dawn prayers when smoke bombs were thrown on deck. These were thrown overboard by the defence teams on board the ship.
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The Mavi Marmara tried to alter its course so that any further attack would occur during daylight, but the Israelis persisted and boarded the ship. They used paintball guns on passengers — the ammunition mixed with glass.
Israeli troops tried to board the ship from speedboats and the defence teams used hose pipes to prevent soldiers from boarding the vessel.
Makeshift weapons were fashioned from items lying on the deck, but there were absolutely no weapons on board the ship, as Israel claims. As chaos and panic swept the boat the Israelis began stage two, using rubber bullets. Once blood started flowing, anger mounted against the Israelis.
Gulf News statement on the Israeli attack
In the third attack, the injuries turned to deaths. Four people were killed instantly while 12 others bled to death. Finally, the captain surrendered and agreed to take the Mavi Marmara to the Israeli port city of Ashdod after an Israeli soldier pointed a gun at a one-year-old Turkish child.
— Abbas Al Lawati has been freed. He left Amman, Jordan, for Muscat, Oman, and was scheduled to arrive late last night.