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Teenager charged after shootings

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Washington - A teenager has been arrested and charged in the murder of five people, including three children, with a military-style assault rifle in the south-western US state of New Mexico, police said on Sunday.

Police said they found the bodies of an adult male and female and two girls and a boy described as “elementary to middle school-aged”, with multiple gunshot wounds, when they arrived at an Albuquerque home late on Saturday.

Aaron Williamson, a spokesperson for the Bernalillo County Sheriff's Office, told reporters that “multiple” weapons were found at the scene, including a “military-type assault rifle” that appears to have been used in the slayings.

The police statement said a young man in his mid to late teens is in custody, charged with two counts of murder and three counts of “child abuse resulting in death”.

The ages and identities of the suspect and the victims were not made public.

The deaths came days after US President Barack Obama unveiled a series of sweeping measures aimed at addressing gun violence in the wake of last month's school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut.

The proposed measures include a ban on some military-style assault rifles and closing loopholes that allow many gun buyers to avoid background checks.

The killing of 20 young children and six adults at the Connecticut school has galvanised gun control advocates, but congressional opposition remains high to new restrictions regarding the US constitutional right to bear arms. - Sapa-AFP


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