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Obama says 'soul searching' needed over Wisconsin killings

Law enforcement personnel walk outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin
Law enforcement personnel walk outside the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin where at least one gunman fired upon people at a service on August 5 in Oak Creek, Wisconsin. US President Barack Obama said Monday that "soul searching" was needed on how to reduce viole

US President Barack Obama said Monday that "soul searching" was needed on how to reduce violence in America after killings at a Wisconsin Sikh temple, the latest in a string of shooting incidents.

Obama told reporters in the Oval Office that Americans would "recoil" in shock if it turned out that the gunman was motivated by ethnic hatred, and said he was "heartbroken" by the incident on Sunday.

The president said "these terrible, tragic events are happening with too much regularity" not to prompt "soul searching" to assess "additional ways that we can reduce violence."

The president was speaking a day after a gunman with ties to white supremacist groups killed six people at the temple in a rampage which followed a massacre of 12 people by a gunman at a Colorado cinema on July 20.

Earlier, the White House said that Obama was committed to working with Congress on ways to reduce violence, and backed a new ban on assault weapons.

But it signaled that no new drives were in prospect to promote gun control legislation, and noted that Obama backed ways to ensure people could not get weapons illegally, while honoring the constitutional right to bear arms.