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Toronto shootings at 31 victims in 6 days

July 21, 2012 at 11:49 AM

TORONTO, July 21 (UPI) -- Three shootings in Toronto late Friday and early Saturday hospitalized four people, bringing the embattled city's toll to 31 victims in six days, police said.

All of the most recent victims were male and one of them was in critical condition with a bullet wound to the head, CP24 TV said.

The others sustained non-life-threatening injuries, the Toronto Star said.

While Friday's Colorado mass shooting at a movie complex that killed 12 people and injured 58 others dominated Canadian headlines, Toronto politicians and police grappled with the rash of gun violence in the city.

Self-described conservative Mayor Rob Ford was scheduled to meet Monday with Ontario's Liberal premier, Dalton McGuinty, with demands for more funding for anti-gang and drug police officers.

Ford is also seeking a meeting with Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper to appeal for a federal ban on handguns and changes to immigration law to expel people convicted of gun offenses.

In past days, the issue has seen both liberal and conservative groups calling for a combination of better social and educational programs in poor and immigrant neighborhoods as well as stepped-up law enforcement.

Police Chief Bill Blair told CITY TV Thursday night police couldn't "arrest away" the problem.

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