US & Canada

Obama calls for 'soul searching' after Wisconsin attack

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Media captionObama: Regardless of who we are, "we look after one another, we respect one another"

US President Barack Obama has said "soul searching" is needed on how to reduce violence following a second mass shooting event in the US in a month.

Wade Michael Page, 40, killed six and injured three on Sunday at a Sikh temple in near Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

He was shot dead by police in the temple's car park during the attack.

Officials say they are investigating reports that Page had white supremacist links, and the FBI is treating the attack as possible domestic terrorism.

The temple attack follows a shooting in Aurora, Colorado, at a midnight screening of the new Batman film on 20 July. Twelve people were killed and 58 were injured in the attack.


"All of us recognise that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity for us not to do some soul searching to examine additional ways that we can reduce violence," Mr Obama said during an unrelated bill signing on Monday.

Mr Obama has pledged to work with members of both political parties and civic organisations to reach a consensus on the matter, but has not given details.

Debate on gun control issues has featured very little during the US presidential campaign, which has mainly focused on the economy.

The gunman opened fire at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek as dozens of people were preparing for a service on Sunday morning.

Oak Creek Police chief John Edwards told a Monday morning news conference they were confident Page was the only shooter.

The victims were identified on Monday as Sita Singh, 41, Ranjit Singh, 49, Satwant Singh Kaleka, 65, Prakash Singh, 39, Paramjit Kaur, 41 and Suveg Singh, 84.

Three others, including a policeman, remain in critical condition.

Chief Edwards said Lieutenant Brian Murphy, 51, had been tending to a victim at the scene when he was "ambushed" by the gunman.

The policeman was shot eight or nine times at "very close range", and was in critical condition on Monday.

'Frustrated neo-Nazi'

The gunman also fired at a police car and ignored orders to drop his weapon, before he was shot dead outside by police, said the authorities.

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Media captionEdwards: Police officer was ambushed by shooter

Page used a 9mm semi-automatic pistol, which was recovered at the scene and had been bought legally, authorities said.

Officials told reporters on Monday they were investigating the shooter's links to the far right.

"We are looking into ties of white supremacist groups," FBI Special Agent in Charge Teresa Carlson said, but declined to specify details of their investigation.

Ms Carlson also said the FBI was looking for a "person of interest" at the scene who left before he could be questioned.

A civil rights group, the Southern Poverty Law Center, has described Page as a "frustrated neo-Nazi who had been the leader of a racist white-power band".

He left his native Colorado and joined a skinhead music group, End Apathy, in 2005, the civil rights organisation said.

On Sunday night, the authorities searched Page's house in the town of Cudahy, a few miles from the temple.

Image caption Sikh activists in India have protested over the shootings

American Sikhs have reported being targeted since the 9/11 attacks, often because they are mistaken for Muslims as a result of wearing turbans and beards.

The Sikh Coalition has reported that there have been more than 700 incidents of harassment or assault against Sikhs in the US since the 9/11.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who is himself a Sikh, spoke on Monday of his shock at the shooting.

Police in New York and Chicago said they had taken extra measures to monitor Sikh temples.

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