Australian mass-shooting video leaked on internet

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A graphic police training video showing the crime scene of Australia's deadliest mass shooting has been leaked to the internet, infuriating officials who asked websites yesterday to remove the footage.

The video features close-ups of the bloodied bodies of those killed by a lone gunman in Port Arthur, Tasmania, in 1996. Martin Bryant shot dead 35 people during his rampage at the historic tourist site and is serving a life sentence in prison.

The video, which police made for training purposes, was stolen from police archives years ago. Copies of it first popped up in the public domain in 2004, when officials discovered VHS tapes of the footage were being sold at a public market in Tasmania.

Police never found out who originally stole the video and are now trying to determine who uploaded a copy to the internet, Tasmania Police Deputy Commissioner Scott Tilyard said.

Many people are distressed that this is on YouTube, he told reporters in the Tasmanian capital of Hobart.

"It does obviously raise emotions and concerns amongst people."

The release of the video comes just days after the deadly bombing and mass shooting in Norway that claimed 76 lives, and has opened fresh wounds for Tasmanians who vividly remember the horror of the Port Arthur attack.

"Whoever put it on should be absolutely appalled at their behaviour," said Tasmanian Premier Lara Giddings. "There could be not a more distressing time for people who were victims of Port Arthur than now, with the horror of what has happened in Norway."

Police have launched an investigation and have asked YouTube and other websites where the video has been posted to take it down, Mr Tilyard said.