US flags at half mast over temple attack

2012-08-06 22:51
Barack Obama. (Haraz N Ghanbari, AP)

Barack Obama. (Haraz N Ghanbari, AP)

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Washington - US President Barack Obama on Monday ordered the flag on the White House and others on government buildings to half mast, to honour six people gunned down in a shooting at a Sikh temple in Wisconsin.

The proclamation, which will remain in effect until 10 August at sunset, will also see US flags lowered at US embassies, consular offices and other facilities abroad as well as on military facilities and naval vessels.

Earlier on Monday, Obama said Americans needed to do more "soul searching" to find ways to reduce violence in the wake of the temple shooting.

"All of us recognise that these kinds of terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity," Obama said at a White House bill-signing ceremony when asked whether further gun control measures were needed.

He said elected officials and community leaders must come together to discuss what should be done.

Obama said federal authorities had not yet determined what motivated the gunman but that if it turned out to be the "ethnicity of those who were attending the temple, I think the American people immediately recoil against those kinds of attitudes".

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