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School shooting in Argentina kills four

A high school student opened fire in a classroom in southern Argentina, killing four classmates and wounding five Tuesday in Argentina's worst school rampage on record, police said.

The 15-year-old suspect began his attack without uttering a word, letting go with intermittent bursts of gunfire from a 9mm handgun as students cowered beneath their desks, authorities said.

The rampage at Islas Malvinas Middle School No. 2 in a remote southern corner of Buenos Aires province touched off intense nationwide debate about spiraling school violence in Argentina.

Stabbings and other attacks on teachers and students have recently alarmed educators and parents.

"We heard gunfire and a lot of screaming and then everyone coming out into the hallway," said one boy, who did not identify himself. "We saw three bodies on the ground with bullet wounds."

Authorities provided no immediate motive for the attack but said they were questioning the student, who was arrested soon after the attack on the classroom in Carmen de Patagones, some 610 miles south of Buenos Aires.

The suspect showed up about 7:30 a.m. before the teacher arrived, walked into a classroom, drew the gun from its holster and began firing indiscriminately at classmates, according to police.

Police said two girls and a boy ranging from 14 to 16 were dead and a teenage girl was mortally wounded. Five others were injured, one in serious condition.

Police said they arrested the suspected gunman without resistance in the schoolyard.

Authorities said they had whisked the teenage suspect to a juvenile court center in Bahia Blanca, another city in southern Buenos Aires province. Officials said he would undergo psychiatric tests as part of the first stages of the investigation.

Rebel leaders targeted

MANILA, Philippines _ U.S.-backed forces have launched a major assault to capture or kill Abu Sayyaf leaders wanted by Washington, sparking clashes that killed a Philippine marine and an undetermined number of rebels, officials said Tuesday.

The assaults began Friday in the mountain jungles of Patikul on southern Jolo island. They were aimed at Radulan Sahiron, his son Ismin and other Abu Sayyaf commanders who reportedly had planned to meet there, apparently to plot another terror strike.

Army Brig. Gen. Agustin Dimaala confirmed the assaults against Sahiron's group, about 580 miles south of Manila.

One marine was killed and six were injured, two while defusing a homemade bomb, officials said.

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