At Least 20 Killed in Shooting in Las Vegas

At least 20 people were killed and over 100 wounded in a shooting in the US city of Las Vegas. (AFP)
At least 20 people were killed and over 100 wounded in a shooting in the US city of Las Vegas. (AFP)
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At Least 20 Killed in Shooting in Las Vegas

At least 20 people were killed and over 100 wounded in a shooting in the US city of Las Vegas. (AFP)
At least 20 people were killed and over 100 wounded in a shooting in the US city of Las Vegas. (AFP)

At least 20 people were killed and more than 100 wounded when a gunman opened fire at a music festival in the US city of Las Vegas on Sunday.

The attacker fired down from the 32nd floor of a hotel, where he was shot dead by police.

Police described the suspect as being a local Las Vegas man who acted alone and was not believed to be connected to any militant group, Clark County Sheriff Joseph Lombardo told reporters.

Concert-goers reported hearing what they described as automatic gun fire during the shooting.

The attack was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States since a gunman who pledged allegiance to the ISIS terrorist group killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub in June 2016.

"We have no idea what his belief system was," Lombardo said.

"Right now, we believe he was the sole aggressor and the scene is static."

Authorities were seeking a woman they named as Marilou Danley, he said. He described her as Asian, 4 foot 11 inches (1.5 m) tall, 111 pounds (50 kg). He gave no details of whether she was suspected of involvement in the attack but described her as an "associate".

Police were also searching for two cars that belonged to the suspect.

Lombardo said rumors of other shootings or explosives such as car bombs in the area were false. Video taken of the attack showed panicked crowds fleeing as sustained rapid gunfire ripped through the area.

Las Vegas's casinos, nightclubs and shopping are a major draw for some 3.5 million visitors from around the world each year and the area was packed with visitors when the shooting broke out shortly after 10 p.m. (0400 GMT).

Police warned the death toll may rise.

"I don't want to give you an accurate number because I don't have it yet," Lombardo said.

At least one police officer was hospitalized with critical injuries, Lombardo said.

The shooting broke out on the last night of the three-day Route 91 Harvest festival, a sold-out event attended by thousands and featuring top acts such as Eric Church, Sam Hunt and Jason Aldean.

US media, including Fox News, reported that Aldean was performing when the rampage began but that he had been bundled safely off stage at the event outside the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in the Nevada gambling resort. CNN reported all the performers were safe.

Lombardo said the gunfire came from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay, where the gunman was killed.

Police have disclosed no information that would suggest a motive for the shooting or revealed the identify of the suspect.

Even so, the rampage was reminiscent of a mass shooting at a Paris rock concert in November 2015 that killed 89 people, part of a coordinated attack by ISIS that left 130 dead.

A witness named Christine told CNN both she and her husband had separately taken shooting victims to two hospitals, the University Medical Center and the Sunrise Hospital and Medical Center.

"The shots just kept coming," she said. "Everyone was telling us 'run, run as fast as you can'."

The concert venue was in an outdoor area known as Las Vegas Village, across the Strip from the Mandalay Bay and the Luxor hotels.

The Mandalay Bay hotel is near McCarran International Airport, which said on Twitter it had temporarily halted flights after the shooting. Later, the airport said that some flights had resumed.

The United States has seen a series of deadly mass shootings in recent years. Prior to Orlando, the deadliest occurred in April 2007 when a gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech university and in December 2012 a man killed 26 young children and educators at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

Mike McGarry, a 53-year-old financial adviser from Philadelphia, said he was at the concert when he heard hundreds of shots ring out.

"It was crazy - I laid on top of the kids. They're 20. I'm 53. I lived a good life," McGarry said. The back of his shirt bore footmarks, after people ran over him in the panicked crowd.

Hours after the shooting, Aldean posted on Instagram that he and his crew were safe and said the shooting was "beyond horrific."

Kodiak Yazzie, 36, said he and his girlfriend were watching Aldean's performance when he heard what sounded like fireworks. The music stopped temporarily and started up again before another round of pops sent the performers ducking for cover and fleeing the stage.

Thousands fled as bursts of gunfire could be heard for more than five minutes, Yazzie said.

Authorities shut down part of the Las Vegas Strip and Interstate 15. Flights were temporarily halted at McCarran International Airport because of the shooting, the airport said on its verified Twitter account.



Ukraine Summit Attracts World Leaders, Fails to Isolate Russia

This photograph shows a sign representing Ukraine on the bank of Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, on June 14, 2024, ahead of a Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16, 2024.
This photograph shows a sign representing Ukraine on the bank of Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, on June 14, 2024, ahead of a Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16, 2024.
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Ukraine Summit Attracts World Leaders, Fails to Isolate Russia

This photograph shows a sign representing Ukraine on the bank of Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, on June 14, 2024, ahead of a Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16, 2024.
This photograph shows a sign representing Ukraine on the bank of Lake Lucerne in Lucerne, on June 14, 2024, ahead of a Ukraine peace summit on June 15-16, 2024.

World leaders will join Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy at a summit this weekend to explore ways of ending the deadliest conflict in Europe since World War Two, but Russia isn't invited and the event will fall short of Kyiv's aim of isolating Moscow.

US Vice President Kamala Harris, French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of Germany, Italy, Britain, Canada and Japan are among those set to attend the June 15-16 meeting at the Swiss mountaintop resort of Buergenstock.

India, which has helped Moscow survive the shock of economic sanctions, is expected to send a delegation. Turkey and Hungary, which similarly maintain cordial ties with Russia, will be represented by their foreign ministers.

But despite months of intense Ukrainian and Swiss lobbying, some others will not be there, most notably China, a key consumer of Russian oil and supplier of goods that help Moscow maintain its manufacturing base.

"This meeting is already a result," Zelenskiy said in Berlin on Tuesday, while acknowledging the challenge of maintaining international support as the war, now well into its third year, grinds on.

Ninety-two countries and eight organizations will attend, Switzerland said. Organizers preparing a joint statement have battled to strike a balance between condemning Russia's actions and securing as many participants as possible, diplomats say.

A final draft of the summit declaration refers to Russia's "war" against Ukraine, and also underlines commitment to the UN charter and respect for international law, according to two people familiar with the document.

Participants not in agreement with the declaration have until the end of Friday to opt out, the sources said.

The Swiss foreign ministry declined to comment.

Switzerland wants the summit to pave the way for a "future peace process" in which Russia takes part - and to determine which country could take on the next phase.

'FUTILE'

The idea of a summit was originally floated after Zelenskiy presented a 10-point peace plan in late 2022.

Ulrich Schmid, a political scientist and Eastern Europe expert at the University of St. Gallen, said the summit appeared to be "a mixed bag" so far, given the show of support from some quarters and China's absence.

"Then the question arises: is peace actually doable?" Schmid added. "As long as (Russian President Vladimir) Putin is in power... it will be difficult."

Putin said on Friday that Russia would cease fire and enter peace talks if Ukraine dropped its NATO ambitions and withdrew its forces from four Ukrainian regions claimed by Moscow. Kyiv has repeatedly said its territorial integrity is non-negotiable.

Russia, which sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, has described the idea of a summit to which it is not invited as "futile".

Moscow casts its "special military operation" in Ukraine as part of a broader struggle with the West, which it says wants to bring Russia to its knees. Kyiv and the West say this is nonsense and accuse Russia of waging an illegal war of conquest.

Given such entrenched differences, the summit will focus on parts of Zelenskiy's plan broad enough to be palatable to most, if not all, participants. These include the need to guarantee food security, nuclear safety, freedom of navigation, prisoner exchanges, and the return of children, officials said.

Meanwhile, China, along with Brazil, is pushing a separate peace plan for Ukraine that calls for the participation of both warring parties. Moscow has voiced its support for Beijing's efforts to end the conflict.

Kyiv has not hidden its frustration at China's decision to skip the Swiss summit. Zelenskiy even accused Beijing of helping Russia to disrupt it, an extraordinary outburst against a global superpower with unrivalled influence over Moscow.

On the battlefield, the gathering comes at a difficult time for Ukraine. Russian troops, who control around 18% of Ukrainian territory, are advancing in the east in a war that has killed tens of thousands of soldiers and civilians, left villages, towns and cities in ruins and uprooted millions.