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Two dead, dozens injured in Tennessee tornadoes

Two people were killed and dozens more injured yesterday in Murfreesboro, Tennessee, when a series of tornadoes ripped through the state, causing extensive property damage in several communities.

Police said the bodies of a mother and her 9-week-old baby were found outside their badly damaged home.

The hardest hit area was a residential section near this college town located about 35 miles (56 km) southeast ofNashville, where search and rescue work was continuing into the night.

"At least 35 people were hospitalized and I am told that seven are in critical condition," Tennessee Emergency Management Agency director Donnie Smith said.

Officials estimated at least three dozen homes were destroyed in Murfreesboro, The Knoxville News Sentinel said on its website.

Smith said twisters also raked Camden, a town in nearby Benton County, but so far no fatalities had been reported. Property damage was also reported in Sumner County.

The storm blew into Tennessee on a southwest to northeast path, he said, sending residents in dozens of towns seeking refuge.

"We'll be working all night along with the Red Cross, police, fire department people, electric service personnel and just about everybody in the area," Smith said.