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Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Sydney rocked by escalating gun war between gangs

16:03 |

An escalating gun war in Sydney saw five overnight drive-by shooting attacks, Australian police said Tuesday, April 17, as they struggled to bring the gangland violence under control. According to AFP, there have been eight shootings across the city in four days and 19 so far this month, mostly in Sydney's west and southwest. Three homes and two tattoo parlors were sprayed with bullets in the latest attacks. No one was hurt but five young children were lucky to escape injury in one of the houses. Police believe a dispute between two biker gangs - the Nomads and Hells Angels - was behind four of the five attacks. Assistant Police Commissioner Frank Mennilli said the police were working on stamping out the violence. "This is where we have just individuals who've got a total disregard for the law of this state and its community," he told ABC radio. New South Wales state opposition leader John Robertson urged the government to authorize police rewards of up to Aus$50,000 (US$51,700) to any person who provides information that leads to an arrest and conviction. "This gangland war is going to continue and people in Sydney are going to continue to live in fear," he told reporters. New South Wales state Premier Barry O'Farrell defended the police response. "I share the public's concern that even though these are clearly targeted shootings, only one stray bullet is needed to seriously injure or kill someone who is innocent," he said. Federal Home Affairs Minister Jason Clare said more needed to be done to halt the illegal trade in firearms with more than 10,000 handguns on the streets of Australia. He suggested a firearms unit be established to collate intelligence gathered by customs and federal and state police on the illegal gun trade. "We already have that with drugs, and it works very well," he said.

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