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13 injured in Chicago park shooting

Thirteen people including a three-year-old child were injured when a gunman opened fire in a Chicago park.

Chicago Fire Department officials said the child is in a critical condition, and two other victims are also critical.

Officer Amina Greer said the shooting occurred shortly after 10pm local time on Thursday night in a park in the city's Back of the Yards neighbourhood.

She said at least 10 ambulances responded to the scene, transporting victims to several hospitals.

A witness, Julian Harris, told the Chicago Sun-Times that dreadlocked men fired at him from a grey car before turning towards Cornell Square Park and firing at people in the area. He said his three-year-old nephew was wounded in the cheek.

"They hit the light pole next to me, but I ducked down and ran into the house," he said. "They've been coming round here looking for people to shoot every night, just gang-banging stuff. It's what they do."

Authorities said no-one had been taken into custody in connection with the shooting.

Francis John, 70, said she was in her apartment when the shooting occurred. She said went down to see what was going on and "a lot of youngsters were running scared". She said she was surprised by what had happened, saying she has lived in the neighbourhood for 30 years.

She told the Sun-Times there has not been much gun violence in the neighbourhood in recent years, adding that the area went from good to bad 10 years ago, to better recently.

The shooting comes nearly three weeks after Chicago saw an outburst of violence over the Labour Day weekend that ended with eight dead and 20 others injured. The city's Police Department has responded to shootings that have grabbed national headlines by stepping up its crime-fighting efforts, paying overtime to add patrols to some areas, including the Back of the Yards.

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