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Merkel calls for tighter gun control measures

Latest update : 2009-03-15

Days after a shocking school shooting in which 16 people were killed in a small German town, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called for tighter gun control measures.

AFP - German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Sunday for tighter gun control in her country after a teenager used his father's pistol to kill 15 people and himself.

"We will probably never be able to prevent (another such massacre), but one of the lessons from this horrible event is to be vigilant," Merkel said in an interview with public radio.

"The possession of weapons and munitions is a subject that we must strongly pay attention to -- it must be controlled, rules must be applied," she said.

The German leader also evoked the possibility of having "spot checks" of weapons just days after the bloodbath in the small southwestern town of Winnenden, near Stuttgart.

On Wednesday, Tim Kretschmer, 17, dressed in black combat gear and armed with a Beretta gun taken from his father's bedroom, began his rampage at his former school.

He shot dead eight girls, one boy and three female teachers at the school, killed a passer-by outside a psychiatric clinic where he had been due to receive treatment, hijacked a car and shot two others at a car dealership.

He died in a shootout with police around 30 kilometres (20 miles) from the school. Police believe he shot himself.

Date created : 2009-03-15

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