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British MP shot dead while campaigning in road

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BIRSTALL — A British Member of Parliament was shot dead in the road on Thursday, causing deep shock across Britain and the suspension of campaigning for next week’s referendum on the country’s EU membership.

Jo Cox, 41, a lawmaker for the opposition Labour Party and a vocal advocate for Britain remaining in the European Union, was attacked while preparing to meet constituents in Birstall near Leeds in northern England.

Media reports said she had been shot and stabbed. West Yorkshire regional police said a 52-year-old man was arrested by officers nearby and weapons including a firearm recovered. “We are not in a position to discuss any motive at this time,” said Temporary Chief Constable Dee Collins.

One witness said a man pulled an old or makeshift gun from a bag and fired twice. “I saw a lady on the floor like on the beach with her arms straight and her knees up and blood all over the face,” Hichem Ben-Abdallah told reporters. “She wasn’t making any noise, but clearly she was in agony.”

The lawmaker’s husband Brendan said: “She would have wanted two things above all else to happen now: one, that our precious children are bathed in love and two, that we all unite to fight against the hatred that killed her.”

The rival referendum campaign groups said they were suspending activities for the day, with the Remain camp saying its activities would also be suspended on Friday. Prime Minister David Cameron said he would pull out of a planned rally in Gibraltar, the British territory on the southern coast of Spain.

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Cameron said the killing of the mother-of-two, who had worked on U.S. President Barack Obama’s 2008 election campaign, was a tragedy.

“We have lost a great star,” the Conservative prime minister said. “She was a great campaigning MP with huge compassion, with a big heart. It is dreadful, dreadful news.”

It was not immediately clear what the impact would be on the June 23 referendum, which has polarized the nation into pro- and anti-EU camps. But some analysts speculated it could boost the pro-EU “Remain” campaign, which in recent days has fallen behind the “Leave” camp in opinion polls.

Reuters

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5 dead as gunman attacks churchgoers in Russia

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At least five people were killed and another five were injured when a gunman attacked a crowd of people leaving a church on Sunday in Russia’s southern province of Dagestan, Russian news agencies reported.

The attack occurred in the village of Kizlyar in the Muslim-majority republic of Dagestan.

Russian news agencies said the attack occurred as churchgoers celebrated Maslenitsa, a Christian holiday marking the last day before Lent according to the eastern Orthodox calendar.

CCTV footage from the site of the deadly shooting shows a man armed with a rifle gunning down two women in broad daylight.

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A bearded man clad in a black vest and camouflage pants was seen crossing the street before opening fire on two female churchgoers as they left a service in Kizlyar in the Republic of Dagestan on Sunday afternoon. A woman walking several meters from the attacker was seen rushing away as the bloodshed unfolded.

The attacker was identified as a 22-year-old man local to the region, the TASS news agency said, citing the investigative committee.

He was shot and killed by security services who were on duty nearby, TASS said, adding that a hunting rifle, bullets and a knife were discovered on his person.

Initial reports suggested all five victims were women, TASS said, citing the local branch of the interior ministry.

Agencies

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