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Obama condemns gurudwara shooting, says Sikhs enrich US

August 06, 2012 10:41 IST
United States President Barack Obama has reviewed the security situation with his top national security aides following the tragic shooting in a gurudwara in Wisconsin and also called on the gurudwara trustee to offer his condolences.

Obama convened a call with FBI Director Robert Mueller, the Chief of Staff Jack Lew, and the Homeland Security Advisor John Brennan on Sunday to receive an update on the tragic shooting in Oak Creek, Wisconsin, the White House has said.

Following the briefing, the Obama called Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, Oak Creek Mayor Steve Scaffidi and trustee of the Gurudwara Charanjeet Singh to express his condolences for the lives lost and his concern for those who were injured.

"During the briefing, the president was informed that the situation at the Sikh gurudwara was under control and that the lone gunmen was killed by an Oak Creek police officer," the White House said, adding that Obama was also updated on the condition of some of the victims of the attack.

He also directed that the federal government should assist as appropriate in the investigation into the shooting.

"The president said that he wanted to make sure that as we denounce this senseless act of violence, we also underscore how much our country has been enriched by our Sikh Community, who are an integral part of our broader American family," the White House said.

Earlier in the day, saddened by the senseless shooting at a gurudwara in Wisconsin, Obama said Sikhs are part of the broader American family.

"Michelle and I were deeply saddened to learn of the shooting that tragically took so many lives in Wisconsin," Obama said in a statement.

Obama was briefed by his top counter terrorism advisor, John Brennan, on the shooting. Obama is constantly being updated on the tragic incident that has shocked the entire nation.

"At this difficult time, the people of Oak Creek must know that the American people have them in our thoughts and prayers, and our hearts go out to the families and friends of those who were killed and wounded," Obama said, adding that his administration will provide whatever support is necessary to the officials who are responding to this tragic shooting and moving forward with an investigation.

"As we mourn this loss which took place at a house of worship, we are reminded how much our country has been enriched by Sikhs, who are a part of our broader American family," Obama said.

Mitt Romney, the presumptive Republican candidate, termed it as a senseless act of violence.

"Ann and I extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims of the shooting in Wisconsin. This was a senseless act of violence and a tragedy that should never befall any house of worship," he said in a statement.

"Our hearts are with the victims, their families, and the entire Oak Creek Sikh community. We join Americans everywhere in mourning those who lost their lives and in prayer for healing in the difficult days ahead," Romney said.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker said that his government is working with the FBI and law enforcement officers to investigate into the shooting incident. "While the situation in Oak Creek continues to develop

rapidly, we are working with the FBI and local law enforcement. I became aware of the situation late this morning and continue to receive updated briefings," he said.

"Our hearts go out to the victims and their families, as we all struggle to comprehend the evil that begets this terrible violence. At the same time, we are filled with gratitude for our first responders, who show bravery and selflessness as they put aside their own safety to protect our neighbours and friends," Walker said.

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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