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At Least 260 People Dead After Attack At Israeli Electronic Music Festival

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At least 260 people are dead after a Hamas attack at an outdoor electronic music festival in Israel near the Gaza Strip, according to CNN. An unknown number of attendees also seem to have been abducted by Hamas operatives.

The attack happened on Saturday (Oct. 7) at the Universo Paralello Festival in Re’im, Israel, a rural area located near the border of the Gaza Strip. CNN says the Israeli rescue service Zaka has reported at least 260 bodies at the site.

The rocket attacks began at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning, with Hamas operatives attacking festivalgoers roughly 30 minutes later. CNN reports that several attendees were taken hostage, with those reports corroborated in a statement by the festival itself. There has been intense fighting throughout Israel since Saturday morning, when Hamas began firing rockets into the country and an invasion followed.

Universo Paralello, which took place Oct. 6-7, is a festival that originated in the Brazilian state of Bahia and is focused on psytrance, a high-BPM form of trance music that has long been one of the most popular forms of electronic music in Israel.

The Israeli version of Paralello Universo, called Supernova Sukkot Gathering after the Jewish holiday, released this statement on Instagram earlier on Sunday (Oct. 8): “The Nova tribe is shocked and pained. We support and participate in the grief of the families of the missing and murdered. We are doing everything we can to assist the security forces, standing by. They are in continuous contact and are located in the field during scans and searches in order to locate the missing.”

The statement says that festival organizers will pass information about missing people to relevant parties, including the IDF.

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“We are full of hope and pray that good news will come to us and to you soon,” continues the statement, which was written in Hebrew. “In moments like these, it is important that we be strong and united, full faith, we will support each other and be there for anyone who needs it.” The event has since made its Instagram page private and did not immediately respond to Billboard‘s request for comment.

The lineup featured psytrance producers from countries including Brazil, Spain, Japan and Mexico, with performers Aladin, Artifex, Astral Projection, Flare Jackalon, Jumpstreet, Kido, LIbra, Man With No Name, Noface, Protanica, Rocky Tilbor, Shove, Spectra Sonics, Swarup, Wegha. Billboard reached out for comment from multiple DJs on the lineup but did not immediately receive responses.

Universo Paralello has been happening in Brazil for nearly two decades. The festival was co-founded by Juarez Petrillo, a longstanding producer and promoter and the father of the globally known producer Alok.

Earlier on Sunday, Alok released a statement regarding his father’s presence at the Israeli event. Petrillo was on the lineup performing under his DJ name, Swarup.

“As many of you know, my father was in one of the invaded locations, and concerning his involvement in the event, he is not the organizer,” Alok’s statement reads. “My father was HIRED to perform at an event that licensed the rights to use the festival’s name, as has happened in several other countries before. The Israeli producer licensed the use of the brand and independently organized the event, with my father being one of the attractions.”

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