Israeli crime boss killed in drive-by shooting

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Associated Press

Posted on July 31, 2011 at 1:01 PM

Updated Sunday, Jul 31 at 1:05 PM

JERUSALEM (AP) — One of Israel's top organized crime figures has been gunned down in a drive-by shooting.

Police say two men on a motorcycle opened fire on Francois Abutbul early Sunday as he stopped to fill up at a gas station north of the coastal city of Netanya.

Police say the Abutbuls are one of the most powerful families in Israeli organized crime. Abutbul ran the family business along with his brother Assi, who serving jail time for extortion, arson and unlawful imprisonment.

The family patriarch, Felix, was assassinated in 2002 at a Prague casino.

Gang violence has been rising in recent years, with incidents of rocket attacks, bombings and shootings in public places.

Police say one of Abutbul's bodyguards was lightly wounded in the shooting. No suspects have been arrested.

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