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Many wounded in New Orleans shooting

Police say at least 19 people injured in "act of street violence" during Mother's Day parade in southern US city.

Last Modified: 13 May 2013 10:37
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At least 19 people, including two children, have been injured in a shooting during a Mother's Day parade in the US city of New Orleans, Louisiana, police said.

Police superintendent Ronal Serpas told reporters that officers saw three suspects running away after Sunday's shooting.

"It appears that these two or three people, for reasons unknown to us, started shooting at, towards or in the crowd," Serpas said, adding that the incident was over in "just a couple of seconds."

FBI spokeswoman Mary Beth Romig said federal investigators had no indication that the incident was an act of terrorism.

"It's strictly an act of street violence in New Orleans," she said.

The southern city has one of the highest violent crime rates in the US.

Ten men, seven women, a girl and a boy both age 10 were hit by gunfire as the parade marched along North Villere Street, according to police spokesman Garry Flot.

Two victims were undergoing surgery, Flot said in a statement. The children were grazed and in good condition, he added.

Nobody had been arrested as of late Sunday evening.

The neighbourhood where the shooting happened was a mix of low-income and middle-class row houses, some boarded up. As of last year, the neighbourhood's population was about 60 percent of its level before Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans in 2005.

As many as 400 people joined what is known as a second-line parade, a loose procession in which people dance down the street, often following a brass band. They can be impromptu or planned.

Officers were interspersed with the marchers, which is routine for such events.

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