Seven deaths in Philadelphia were connected to drug deals, say police

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The Independent US

Seven people were found shot dead in an abandoned house in the run-down Mantua district of western Philadelphia on Thursday night in what were believed to be drugrelated murders. Three other people were wounded, one critically.

Seven people were found shot dead in an abandoned house in the run-down Mantua district of western Philadelphia on Thursday night in what were believed to be drugrelated murders. Three other people were wounded, one critically.

Philadelphia police said the killings were the worst in the city's recent history. Four masked gunmen reportedly burst into the house on Thursday evening, firing as they went. Six men were killed on the spot; a woman died later in hospital. A police hunt was on for the four gunmen who escaped from the scene.

Police and neighbours said that the house had recently been used for drug-trading. The deputy police commissioner, Sylvester Johnson, confirmed that two of the victims had been selling drugs and a small amount of crack cocaine had been found in the house.

The slaughter came two days after the mass shooting at an internet company in Massachusetts in which seven people were killed, apparently by an aggrieved colleague.

But while the Massachusetts killings prompted new calls for curbs on gun ownership, the Philadelphia deaths, in a part of the city where shootings and drug crimes are endemic, attracted little shock outside the immediate area where drug-dealing continues to be a fact of life, despite successive get-tough campaigns by police.

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