12 killed, 31 wounded in shooting at U.S. army base

08:07, November 06, 2009      

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Twelve people were killed and up to31 injured in two shootings Thursday at Fort Hood Army Base in Killeen, Texas, the U.S. Army said

The 12 dead include one suspect, a soldier. Two other soldiers were taken into custody, according to Gary Tallman, a spokesman at the Pentagon.

Earlier reports said seven people were dead and at least 12 injured when gunmen opened fire at about 1:30 p.m. in an area near a theater and a sports dome, also known as the soldier readiness area.

It was not immediately known if the victims are soldiers or civilians.

The shooting prompted the base and nearby schools to order a lockdown.

A message on the Fort Hood Web site said, "Effective immediately, Fort Hood is closed." "This is not a drill. It is an emergency situation," it said.

U.S. President Barack Obama has called the incident a "horrific burst of violence" and expressed his sympathy to the victims and their families.

"These are men and women who have made the selfless and courageous decision to risk and at times give their lives to protect the rest of us on a daily basis," Obama said when he delivered speech at the closing ceremony of the tribal nations conference.

"It's difficult enough when we lose these brave Americans in battles overseas. It is horrifying that they should come under fire at an Army base on American soil," he said.

FBI agents are headed to Fort Hood to assist the Army Criminal Investigation Division, which is the lead agency, said FBI spokesman Jason Pack.

Fort Hood is the U.S. Army's largest U.S. post, with about 40,000 troops.

Source:Xinhua
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