Thursday, 5 November 2009

Shooting at Army Base - 12 dead

Twelve people have been killed and 31 injured in a shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas, the commander there has said.

Lt Gen Bob Cone said one shooter had been killed in the incident and two suspects arrested. All were American soldiers. The base is locked down.

Lt Gen Cone said the motive for the shooting was not known. One of the dead was a policeman, others were soldiers.

The army has named the gunman as Major Malik Nadal Hasan. He was reportedly due to be sent on a mission to Iraq.

Fort Hood, near the town of Killeen, is the largest US base in the world.

Home to about 40,000 US troops, the base lies between Austin and Waco, about 60 miles (97 km) from each city.

President Obama: "A number of American soldiers have been a horrific outburst of violence"

Lt Gen Cone said the shooting had begun at about 1330 (1930 GMT) at a personnel and medical centre at Fort Hood, where soldiers who are preparing to deploy go for last-minute medical check-ups.

He said the shooter, who had two handguns, had opened fire and "due to the quick response of the police forces, was killed".

Two more suspects were apprehended in an adjacent facility, he said, adding that some eyewitness accounts suggested there might have been more than one shooter.

A serviceman stationed at Fort Hood who asked to remain anonymous told the BBC: "I heard the emergency announcement over the speakers outside and saw people rushing to get indoors.

"In our office we're okay but we're hearing about the deaths. It's horrible and very shocking.

"We are still on lockdown. I am hearing that at least nine people may be dead. This is so terrible and frightening."

The BBC's Adam Brookes in Washington says units at Fort Hood are among those deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan, and some will have returned from there.

The base has a centre that deals with combat stress, our correspondent adds.

Hilary Shine, of the Killeen Fire Department told the BBC's News Channel Fort Hood was like a small city.

"It has schools, a hospital, a convenience store even. And it has a large daytime population - including civilians working on the base - with as many as 80,000 in this area during the daytime."

Local congressman John Carter, speaking to NBC News, said gunfire had erupted half an hour before a graduation ceremony was due to begin.

BBC News

There's more to this than meets the eye. Three gunmen...

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