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Gunmen kill 11 in US navy yard

Published Sep 17, 2013 07:02am


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WASHINGTON, Sept 16: Gunmen dressed in military-style uniform shot dead at least 11 people and wounded 14 at the Washington Navy Yard on Monday while the chief of US Naval Operations was inside the complex.

One gunman was also killed as police returned fire, while two others escaped.

Those wounded in the attack were moved to nearby hospitals where officials said most of them were “out of danger”.

The attack spread the fear of another terrorist attacks on the US capital as neighbourhood schools closed and flights taking off at a nearby airport were suspended.

Terrorists had targeted the headquarters of the US defence forces, the Pentagon, in the Sept 11, 2011 terrorist attacks. Monday’s was the first major attack on a US military installation in Washington since 9/11.

In a statement issued by his office, President Barack Obama pledged to punish those responsible. “We will do everything in our power to make sure whoever carried out this cowardly act is held responsible,” he said.

Washington DC Police Chief Cathy Lanier told a mid-day news conference that one suspect was killed in the firing but two others escaped.

She described one suspect as a white male wearing a khaki tan military uniform and a beret, and carrying a handgun. The other is a black man, about 50, wearing an olive military-style uniform, and possessing a “long gun”.

A US Navy spokesman, Commander Ryan Perry, told an afternoon briefing in Washington that Admiral Jonathan W. Greenert, the chief of Naval Operations, was inside the complex when the shooting started. He and his wife, Darleen Greenert, were evacuated safely to the Pentagon.

Mr Greenert is a four-star admiral and member of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff.

While confirming that one of the gunmen was among the 12 dead, police said the dead shooter had an assault rifle, and possibly a shotgun.

Police also said witness accounts and surveillance video indicate that there were more than three shooters and warned that all the weapons used in the shooting were not accounted for.

Two police officers were also wounded in the firing.

The firing started at around 8: 20 am when people were coming to work and the area’s schools had just opened. Ten public and charter schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution, and flights out of Reagan National Airport were briefly halted.

Most of the firing happened around US Navy Building 197, which employs 3,000, although more than 36,000 people work inside the complex.

Hundreds of police and other security personnel and several helicopters participated in the operation.

The shooting panicked local Muslims as since 9/11 suspects in such incidents have often been identified as people of Muslim origin.

Soon after the shooting, two US television channels – CBS and NBC – identified the dead gunman as Rollie Chance but later retracted the name.

President Obama, who was briefed several times about the unfolding situation by top White House counter-terrorism officials, said the authorities “still don’t know all the facts”.

“We’re confronting yet another mass shooting and today it happened on a military installation in our nation’s capital. It’s a shooting that targeted our military and civilian personnel,” he said.

“These are men and women who were going to work doing their jobs and protecting all of us,” the US president said. “They’re patriots. They know the dangers of serving abroad, but today they faced the unimaginable violence that they wouldn’t have expected here at home.”

Mr Obama said he had instructed his team to ensure that “the investigation (is) seamless, so that local and federal authorities are working together”.

Police said they were still trying to determine the motive behind the shooting.

The Navy Yard, created in 1799, was the world’s largest ordnance plant during World War II. Its military role has steadily diminished since then.

Comments (3) Closed

Khalid Mehmood Sep 17, 2013 09:20am

I am totally against these types of act, but the american should realise the fact the all over world CIA doing wrong way,like providing financial as well as arms and amunation to rebels in different country,because rebel are not sincere with their own live how can be sincere with other peoples,In my opinion strict measure are required to over come this issue,if you will not take the right decision now,it will create the problems for whole world, you should think above your personal interest,do not make the decision for short term need long term planning,put strict condition on movement of arms and reduce the product of arms invest that amount in wellfare of general public,you better know how much amount you are investing in different countries to destablise that country,we needs peace all over the world and major reponsibilty lies on USA,because most of sea and earth area is occupied by your forces.

Najiullah Sep 17, 2013 03:27pm

Extremly condemable and cowardly act.being a human our sympathy is with those american peoples who often raise thier voice against any injustice without any religiuos or creed regard,who work and struggle for restoration of peace in whole of the world on the basis of humanity, though its not the matter to pondr over for Mr barack obama,coz a little sparrow even cant get into america beyond c.i.a's eye.

kanwaljeet Sep 17, 2013 04:36pm

@Khalid Mehmood: why are you accepting their alms...