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

08:39, November 06, 2009      

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Twelve people were killed and up to 31 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.

Emergency personnel carry the wounded at the U.S. Army post in Fort Hood, Texas, in this video grab taken and released on November 5, 2009.

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.

U.S. President Barack Obama makes remarks about a shooting at a U.S. Army base in Fort Hood, Texas, at the White House Tribal Nations Conference at the Department of the Interior in Washington, November 5, 2009.

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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