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Four hurt in armed rampage at Dutch school

A SCHOOL in the Netherlands yesterday found itself at the centre of a US-style shooting when a 17-year-old pupil went on a gun rampage, leaving a teacher and three pupils injured, one seriously.

The hand-gun attack - the first of its kind in Holland - has caused particular shock because the Netherlands has very strict firearms laws.

Just a day after a 13-year-old opened fire in a school in Tulsa, Oklahoma, gunfire broke out just after 2pm in the southern Dutch town of Veghel as the 17-year-old sprayed shots in a hallway and computer room of the De Leijgraaf school.

Early indications were that the attack was probably not a copycat incident after Oklahoma. Reports said the pupil may have been depressed because of a failed romance, others that he was upset about a relationship involving his sister.The suspect later turned himself in to police in the town.

Although there was confusion over injuries, at least one victim was seriously hurt and said to be in a critical condition. There were reports that the teacher, a 46-year-old woman, was seriously injured.

Rene Peters, a spokesman for St Joseph's Hospital in Veghel, said two pupils were stable and out of danger after surgery. Ruud Vosveld, spokesman for St Catharine Hospital in Eindhoven, said: "A boy was brought in with a gunshot wound in the chest, the bullet near his shoulder. He lost quite a lot of blood." His condition had been stabilised.

The community has been stunned by the attack. The school has a good reputation, with no record of significant problems, and both police and school officials were astonished that the hand-gun attack had happened out there.