U.S. soldier opens fire at Baghdad base killing five comrades

By Calvin Palmer

A U.S. soldier opened fire at an army base in Baghdad today killing five of his fellow troops before being taken into custody, the U.S. command and Pentagon officials said.

The shooting occurred at Camp Liberty one of the biggest American bases near the city’s international airport.

A brief statement issued by the military said the soldier “suspected of being involved with the shooting” was in custody but gave no further details.

“Anytime we lose one of our own, it affects us all,” U.S. spokesman Col. John Robinson said. “Our hearts go out to the families and friends of all the service members involved in this terrible tragedy.”

Sources said at least three other soldiers were wounded in the attack, which took place at a counseling center for soldiers suffering from war stress.

Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that “we’re still in the process of gathering information on exactly what happened”.

It was unclear whether the gunman and his victims were workers at the clinic or were there for counseling.

The names of the soldier and his victims have not been released.

[Based on reports by the Associated Press and The New York Times.]

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