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article imageHoliday weekend leaves more than 100 gunfire victims in Chicago

By AFP     Jul 5, 2017 in World

The United States celebrated Independence Day with a long weekend of barbecues and fireworks, but in violence-plagued Chicago more than 101 were hit by gunfire, with 14 dying of their wounds, the Chicago Tribune said on Wednesday.

The youngest of the victims was just 13 years old and the eldest 60, the newspaper said, noting that the shootings were concentrated in the south and west of the country's third largest city.

The heavy toll came after President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he would be sending federal reinforcements to tackle chronic violence in Chicago, where local police forces were slammed for abuse in a federal report put out last January.

The long bout of holiday violence began on Friday and ended in the early hours of Wednesday, July 5. The holiday started off relatively peacefully but violence quickly escalated on Tuesday afternoon, when 41 people were shot in just 12 hours.

Violence in the city has drawn a great deal of media attention because it is where former president Barack Obama worked as a civil rights attorney and law professor and where he still maintains a high profile.

The rate of violence relative to the size of the population is, however, lower than other US cities such as St Louis or Baltimore.

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