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07-Nov-2009  
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US President Barack Obama has praised the heroism of soldiers and civilians in their response to the deadly attack at a US army base in Texas.

In his weekly address, he says that although the shootings showed the "worst of human nature" they had also brought out "the best of America".
Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, a US-born Muslim, opened fire at Fort Hood on Thursday, killing 13 people.The 39-year-old army psychiatrist was shot four times and remains in a coma.
About 30 people were also hurt in the attack, with some still carrying life-threatening injuries.
Hundreds of people gathered in a stadium at the Fort Hood base on Friday night for a candlelit vigil.

Mr Obama said the shooting was "one of the most devastating ever committed on an American military base".
Analysis

Adam Brookes Washington Military officers have long expressed concern over the state of psychiatric medicine in the US armed forces.
Officers say privately that thousands of young men and women are returning from Afghanistan and Iraq with psychological problems. Post-traumatic stress disorder can result in debilitating symptoms, ranging from anxiety to depression.
Earlier this year, the Pentagon committed $50m to a study designed to investigate why suicide rates in the military are rising.
Officers are overwhelmed by the number of soldiers requiring treatment and they say there's been pressure to retain psychiatrists inside the military system.

It is quite possible that if and when Maj Hasan goes on trial for these shootings, military medicine will be on trial, too.
But he added: "We saw soldiers and civilians alike rushing to aid fallen comrades; tearing off bullet-riddled clothes to treat the injured; using blouses as tourniquets; taking down the shooter even as they bore wounds themselves.
Mr Obama added: "We cannot fully know what leads a man to do such a thing. But what we do know is that our thoughts are with every single one of the men and women who were injured at Fort Hood."
Amid fears of a possible anti-Muslim backlash after the attack, Mr Obama stressed the multinational diversity in the US armed forces.
"They are Americans of every race, faith, and station. They are Christians and Muslims, Jews and Hindus and nonbelievers. They are descendents of immigrants and immigrants themselves. They reflect the diversity that makes this America."

Japan's foreign ministry says Mr Obama has delayed his visit to the country by a day and will now arrive on Friday 13 November.
It is thought the delay is to allow Mr Obama to attend a memorial service for those killed.
Although the details of the memorial have not been finalised, White House spokesman Robert Gibbs said the timing would not be dictated by the president's schedule.
Investigators are waiting for Maj Hasan to emerge from his coma but have examined his home and computer records to try to find any clue to the motive of his attack.

Reports suggested that he had been increasingly unhappy in the military and that his work at his previous post - Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington DC - had been the subject of concern.
His cousin told US media that Maj Hasan had been opposed to an imminent deployment overseas, describing it as his "worst nightmare".
He also said that Maj Hasan had been battling racial harassment because of his "Middle Eastern ethnicity."
The manager of his apartment complex told Associated Press news agency that Maj Hasan's car had been badly scratched recently by an army employee who had returned from Iraq and objected to Maj Hasan's faith.

AP also quoted a former classmate on a Maryland university course as saying that Maj Hasan was a "vociferous opponent" of America fighting conflicts in Muslim countries.
Maj Hasan's relatives have said they deplore his actions.
Cousin Nader Hasan said: "We are mortified with what has unfolded and there is no justification, whatsoever, for what happened.
"We are all asking why this happened, and the answer is that we simply do not know."
The attack began at about 1330 (1930 GMT) on Thursday at a personnel and medical centre at Fort Hood - the largest US military base in the world, home to about 40,000 troops.

The commander of the base, Lt Gen Robert Cone, told NBC News that, according to eyewitnesses, Mr Hasan had shouted the Arabic phrase "Allahu Akbar!" [God is great] before opening fire.
Deputy commander at Fort Hood, Col John Rossi, later said that more than 100 rounds were fired during the attack.
Col Rossi also confirmed earlier reports that the two handguns carried by Maj Hasan were not military arms, but "privately owned weapons".

He said that the suspect - who had been on a ventilator in a civilian hospital - was transferred on Friday by helicopter to the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas.
There have been no updates on Maj Hasan's condition but the army has confirmed he is "unable to converse".
 
 
Source: BBC
 
 

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