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Henning Mankell was on board, says report

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
The search light from an Israeli warship is seen from a Gaza-bound ship in the Mediterranean Sea.

At least 16 people have been killed and 30 injured after Israeli troops stormed a convoy of six ships carrying activists and aid supplies to Gaza.

According to reports, the confrontation took place in international waters 80 miles off the Gaza coast when armed forces boarded the vessels overnight and clashed with some of the 600 protesters on board.

A Guardian report says top writer Henning Mankell and many top journalists were there when the attack happened.

Israel attacks Gaza aid flotilla, 16 dead

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
Israeli commandos are seen on a Gaza-bound ship in the Mediterranean Sea in this frame grab.

A spokesman for Greta Berlin, one of the ships, accused Israeli troops of indiscriminately shooting at "unarmed civilians".

"How could the Israeli military attack civilians like this? Do they think that because they can attack Palestinians indiscriminately they can attack anyone?" The Telegraph quoted Berlin, as saying.

"We have two other boats. This is not going to stop us," he added.

Israel attacks Gaza aid flotilla, 16 dead

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
An Israeli commando lands on a Gaza-bound ship in the Mediterranean Sea,

Meanwhile, Israeli Trade and Industry Minister Binyamin Ben-Eliezer has issued a statement.

"The images are certainly not pleasant. I can only voice regret at all the fatalities," Ben-Eliezer said.

Israel attacks Gaza aid flotilla, 16 dead

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
An injured Israeli soldier is evacuated to a hospital in Haifa after the incident

The ships, carrying 10,000 tonnes of aid, had left international waters off the coast of Cyprus on Sunday and were expected to arrive in Gaza later on Monday.

Israel had earlier said that it would stop the boats, calling the campaign a "provocation intended to delegitimise Israel".

Israel attacks Gaza aid flotilla, 16 dead

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
Activists chat on the Turkish ship Mavi Marmara, on its way to Gaza mission

An economic blockade was imposed on Gaza by Israel after the strip was taken over by the militant group Hamas [ Images ] in 2007.

It has allowed some food and medical supplies through, but has prevented large-scale rebuilding following the bombardment and invasion in 2008-09.

Israel attacks Gaza aid flotilla, 16 dead

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
A pro-Palestinian activist is evacuated to a hospital in Haifa on Monday
Meanwhile, there  are widespread protests across  the world after the bloody offensive.

Israel attacks Gaza aid flotilla, 16 dead

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
Israeli soldiers evacuate an injured person to a hospital in Haifa on Monday

Around 10,000 Turks are marching from Israel's Consulate in Istanbul toward the city's main square, shouting slogans denouncing Israel after 10 pro-Palestinian activists were reported killed and dozens wounded by Israeli forces.

Israel attacks Gaza aid flotilla, 16 dead

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
Demonstrators try to set afire Israeli flag during a protest near the Israeli Consulate in Istanbul

Greece has withdrawn from joint military exercises with Israel in protest at the attack on the Gaza flotilla. Athens has also barred the head of the Israeli airforce from flying to Greece.

Israel attacks Gaza aid flotilla, 16 dead

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
Palestinians ride aboard boats in a preparation for the arrival of a convoy of ships to Gaza's port

In Europe, France has condemned the incident, saying it has shocked the country.

Israel attacks Gaza aid flotilla, 16 dead

Last updated on: May 31, 2010 16:55 IST
Demonstrators near Israeli consulate during a protest against Israel in Istanbul on Monday

The UN's rights chief Navi Pillay said she was "shocked" at the violence of the raid.