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Thu Jun 14, 2012|
The number of murder cases in the American city of Chicago has reached a record high of 228 murders in just six months, showing a 35-percent increase compared to last year, Press TV reports.
The number of murders in the city is reportedly twice as many as the number of Americans lost on the battlefields of Afghanistan over the past six months.
“People are scared to come out of their doors. They are scared for their kids who sit on the porches and play in the playground. There is total fear,” Pastor Robin Hood living in Chicago's North Lawndale neighborhood told Press TV.
Across Chicago, the murder rate is now at two a day with Chicago Police Superintendent Gary McCarthy believing that most of the violent crime in the city is gang-related.
“We are trying to get a handle on in the cities and in internal disputes in one of our gangs, which is the largest gang in the city. They have an internal dispute where they are fighting and shooting at each other,” McCarthy told Press TV.
According to the report, Chicago has the largest gang population in the US, with approximately 100,000 members who commit 75-80 percent of the city's homicides.
The violence increasingly claims innocent bystanders. In a recent incident, a pregnant woman was killed by a stray bullet which hit her through the living room window.
“I tell her I am sorry that that condition exists and I feel responsible for it,” McCarthy added.
Chicago has a police force made up of 12,000 officers who are now targeting high crime areas for more frequent patrols.