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Two Police Officers in Iowa Killed in ‘Ambush’ Attacks | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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Police officers salute the hearse as they attend the funeral of slain Dallas police Sgt. Michael Smith in Dallas, Texas, U.S., July 14, 2016. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

Two U.S. police officers were shot and killed while sitting in their patrol cars in the Des Moines, Iowa, area in separate “ambush-style attacks” on Wednesday, and police were searching for the shooter or shooters, NBC News reported.

“We’re just a few hours into this,” Sgt. Paul Parizek, a spokesman for the Des Moines Police Department, said at a news conference. “It doesn’t look like there was any interaction between these officers and whoever the coward is who shot them while they sat in their cars.”

“We’re developing some suspect information right now,” Sergeant Parizek said. “There’s nothing that we can share. As soon as we’ve got something that we can put out, it’s coming out.”

Both officers were shot in their squad cars about three kilometers (2 miles) apart, he added. One officer was found dead about 1 a.m. local time in Urbandale, a suburb of Des Moines. The second officer was found dead about 1:30 a.m. local time in the city, NBC News reported. Officers from Des Moines, Iowa’s largest city, and other agencies were called in for help.

“There is a clear and present danger to police officers right now,” Parizek said. “There is definitely danger out there right now.”

A manhunt for the suspect or suspects was being conducted by police throughout the area, Parizhe added.

According to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, the United States have witnessed an increase in killings of officers this year, especially “ambush killings”.

On July 7, five police officers were gunned down in Dallas by Micah X. Johnson, an Army veteran who was angered at police treatment of African-Americans. Ten days later, three law enforcement officers were shot and killed in Baton Rouge, La., by Gavin Long, a Marine veteran with a history of paranoid rantings.