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CHICAGO: At least 17 people were killed and 63 others injured in Chicago over the Independence Day holiday weekend as a result of gun violence. The victims included a seven-year-old girl and a 14-year-old boy, reports Xinhua news agency.

This is the third week in a row that involved the death of a young child. A 20-month-old boy and a 10-year-old girl were killed in separate shootings last week; and a week earlier, five children were fatally shot, the Chicago Tribune reported on Sunday.

Most of the shootings happened on the Fourth of july weekend occurred in the South and West sides, which have long experienced gun violence and gang crime. The Chicago Police Department added more than 1,200 extra officers to work during the holiday weekend, but the dispatch was fewer than the 1,500 deployed last year.

In face of the latest spate of gun violence, Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot tweeted on Saturday night: “As families gather to commemorate the founding of our nation, we must ask ourselves: is this who we are as a city or as a country? We cannot grow numb to this.

“We are making progress in slowing shootings, but we have to do better, every single one of us.” During the Fourth of July holiday in 2019, six people were killed and 63 were wounded by gun violence.

The last time the Fourth of July fell on a Saturday was in 2015, when 10 were killed and 55 others were injured.