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Firing in US gurdwara packed with devotees; 7 dead, 20 hurt

New York, August 5
Six persons were killed in an attack on a gurdwara during Sunday morning prayers in Wisconsin by at least one gunman who was also shot dead, the police said.

At least 20 persons were also injured when the shooter opened fire indiscriminately amid reports that 12 children were taken hostages at the Sikh shrine.

Greenfield police chief Bradley Wentlandt said four persons were gunned down inside the gurdwara while three, including the shooter, died outside the shrine. The identity of those killed was not immediately known.

The police said it had not yet identified if there was any other shooter involved in the incident. Preliminary reports had said that at least three gunmen were involved in the attack.

The critically injured have been admitted to Froedtert hospital. The shooting at Oak Creek, south of Wisconsin’s biggest city Milwaukee, occurred around 11 am (local time), the Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reported. Oak Creek is about 1,250 km from New York.

About 400 persons were present in the gurdwara at the time of the incident. A Sikh priest had specially come from India to address the gathering on Sunday.

US President Barack Obama was briefed by his counter-terrorism adviser John Brennan on the situation and the White House was seized of the matter, US officials said.

The shooter was last seen with two handguns.

President of the Sikh Society Gurcharan Grewal had earlier said, “The people who started shooting are three white people.”

A police spokesman said a law enforcement officer was shot multiple times by the unidentified shooter, who was “put down”. “We do not know if there are additional shooters in the gurdwara,” he said. The officer has been transported to hospital and was expected to survive.

The spokesman said tactical operations were going on and the situation was “very fluid”.

Media reports said about 12 children have been taken hostages.

Indian Ambassador Nirupama Rao described the shooting as “extremely tragic” and said the Embassy was in touch with the National Security Council at White House. The Consul General at Chicago was deputing an official to the spot. — PTI





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