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article imageBiden condemns 'despicable' Baton Rouge killings

By AFP     Jul 17, 2016 in World

US Vice President Joe Biden on Monday described the shooting deaths of three police officers in the Louisiana capital Baton Rouge as a "despicable act" that was an attack on the American way of life.

Biden, on visit to Australia, said there was little detail on the latest violence against US law enforcement, which has also been condemned by President Barack Obama.

"We don't have the detail yet. We don't know exactly how this occurred, what motive might have been behind it," Biden said in Melbourne where he was visiting a Boeing plant.

But he added: "It's a despicable act and it's an attack on our very way of life at home."

Biden praised the work of law enforcement men and women, saying they put their lives on the line to respond to such incidents and "we owe them big".

"At home, we cannot let others divide us now by making more or this less of this than it is really is," he said.

The shooting, which also wounded three other officers, took place in a city scarred by high racial tensions and numerous protests against police brutality since the July 5 death of Alton Sterling, a black man shot at point-blank range by police.

Two days after the Sterling shooting, a gunman ambushed police officers, killing five, during a demonstration in Dallas triggered by Sterling's death and that of another African-American man in Minnesota whose dying moments were captured in shocking video footage that went viral.

Of the latest violence, Biden said: "My heart goes out ... to those families."

"We will get to the bottom of this... but our enduring thanks to every law enforcement officer back home."

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