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Monday, August 30, 2010

Shootings in Slovakia

The Slovakian capital of Bratislava was rocked today when  a gunman killed at least 7 people and injured a further 15. He then as often happens in these situations turned the gun on himself. He has yet to be identified by the police however, police have said he was in his 50's.

The shooting took place in a run-down neighbourhood, the Devinska Nova Ves. He shot dead 6 members of the same family, 4 women and 2 men. The other victim was a women who had heard the commotion and stepped onto her balcony. A young toddler was among the injured and a police officer was shot in the head, but not killed.   One of the injured is critical, 3 more are in a serious condition.

The gunman was carrying and illegally obtained shotgun and two pistols. He came out of a building and ran down the street firing indiscriminately. He continued for only a few metres  before a team of police cornered him. He began shooting at the ground and at police before he gave up and turned the gun on himself.

People are speculating about a possibly racist motive to the attacks as the 6 members of the family who were murdered were of Roma origin. There are 430,000 Romany people in Slovakia, a nation of 5.4 million people. There are often disputes between the two groups but no incidences of mass murders have been seen as yet.

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