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Shooter Kills Eight In Eastern Czech Town

Police and investigators in front of the site of the shooting.

Czech officials say a gunman opened fire inside a small-town restaurant in eastern Czech Republic on February 24, killing eight people before he fatally shot himself.

It was the worst shooting attack in the Czech Republic's history.

Patrik Kuncar, mayor of the southeastern town of Uhersky Brod, said the gunman was a local man aged around 60.

Czech public radio said the gunman called a local television station before the attack, complaining that police weren't solving his problems and threatening that he would "take things into his hands."

Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said in a statement while on a trip to South Korea, "I am shocked by the tragic attack in Uhersky Brod."

He offered his condolences to the victims' relatives and President Milos Zeman did the same.

Interior Minister Milan Chovanec, who traveled to the scene said the incident was "not a terrorist attack."

Chovanec said the man had a gun license.

He said the gunman was armed with two pistols and opened fire at approaching police officers.

The Czech Republic became an independent nation in 1993 after the split of Czechoslovakia.

The attack shocked the town of 17,000 that lies 300 kilometers southeast of Prague, the capital, and is home to the Ceska Zbrojovka gun plant.

Chovanec said the victims have been identified and were all from the region.

The country's chief police officer, Tomas Tuhy, said authorities wouldn't reveal more information immediately because of the ongoing investigation.

One waitress, who was shot in the chest, had emergency surgery. Dana Lipovska, spokesman for the hospital in the nearby town of Uherske Hradiste, said her condition was "very serious."

The Czech Republic has strict gun control laws, but hunting is popular in the countryside.

Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters