US armyman on rampage

Major, fearing deployment in war zone, shoots 13 on Texas base

US armyman on rampage

It was one of the worst mass shootings ever at a military base in the US.

The gunman, who was still alive after being shot four times, was identified by the law enforcement authorities as Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, 39, who had been in the service since 1995.
Hasan was about to be deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan, said Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison, Republican of Texas.

Clad in a military uniform and firing an automatic pistol and another weapon, Hasan, a balding, chubby-faced man with heavy eyebrows, sprayed bullets inside a crowded medical processing centre for soldiers returning from or about to be sent overseas, the military officials said.
Hasan remained hospitalised on a ventilator on Friday morning, but was in stable condition, Army officials said at a news conference held at the entrance to the base.

In interviews with reporters on Friday, they praised the police officer who shot Major Hasan, Kimberly Munley, saying she and her partner had arrived within three minutes of reports of gunfire and put an end to the rampage.

The victims, nearly all military personnel but including two civilians, were cut down in clusters, the officials said. Witnesses told military investigators that medics working at the centre tore open the clothing of the dead and wounded to get at the wounds and administer first aid.
As the shooting unfolded, military police and civilian officers of the Department of the Army responded and returned the gunman’s fire, officials said.

Eight hours after the shootings, Lt Gen Robert W Cone, a base spokesman, said Hasan, whom he described as the sole gunman, had been shot four times. Hasan was not speaking to investigators, and much about his background — and his motives — were unknown.
Gen Cone said terrorism was not being ruled out, but that preliminary evidence did not suggest that the rampage had been an act of terrorism. Fox News quoted a retired Army colonel, Terry Lee, as saying that Major Hasan, with whom he worked, had voiced hope that President Obama would pull American troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan, had argued with military colleagues who supported the wars and had tried to prevent his own deployment. Obama called the shootings “a horrific outburst of violence.”

Two dead in Orlando firing

Two persons were killed and six others hurt in a shooting at an Orlando office building, the fire department on Friday said amid fears the gunman was still at large, reports AFP.

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