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Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 24 June 2018

Weekend of bloodshed in Chicago leaves 11 dead - including boy of 9

An estimated 56 people were shot over the space of four days, 11 of those fatally

Chicago police officers at the scene of another shooting in the city earlier this month
Chicago police officers at the scene of another shooting in the city earlier this month

CHICAGO // Police are struggling to contain a wave of gun violence in the city of Chicago after a weekend of bloodshed left 11 dead - including a nine-year-old boy.

The youngster had been riding in an SUV with a 31-year-old man when a hail of bullets were fired into the vehicle.

A gunshot wound to the back killed the boy while the older man was left in a critical condition after being struck in the chest, face and back, according to law enforcement officers.

Police, who have not identified either victim, said someone inside a grey sedan began shooting when it pulled up alongside the SUV.

The two were among 56 shot in the period between Friday afternoon and Monday morning, according to the Chicago Tribune newspaper, which keeps a running tally of the runaway shootings, which have been mostly gang-related and concentrated in a few economically struggling neighborhoods.

Eleven people in total were killed, the Tribune reported.

Chicago police, which do not include in its tally incidents that occur in the city but outside the department's jurisdiction, on Monday reported 35 shootings and 10 murders over the same weekend period.

The summer months often bring higher levels of violence to Chicago's streets. Over the July 4 holiday, 101 were hit by gunfire and 14 killed, according to the Tribune. The youngest of the victims during that four-day period was just 13 years old, the newspaper said.

The violence has drawn a great deal of media attention because it is where former president Barack Obama worked as a civil rights attorney and law professor. Obama still maintains a high profile in the city, where his presidential library is to be built.

The Drug Enforcement Agency recently announced that more agents would be sent to aid Chicago law enforcement, by forming a task force to battle the illicit drug trade, which fuels gun violence.