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LATEST: Three police officers confirmed dead in Baton Rouge shooting

NewsBy Neil Fetherston
Police at the scene of the shooting
Police at the scene of the shooting
Police at the scene of the shooting
Police at the scene of the shooting

Seven police officers have been shot in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and three have died, according to reports.

The shooting reportedly took place near the Airline Highway in south east Baton Rouge. 

"Seven officers were shot and at least three officers are dead," a police source told CNN. 

Parish Kip Holden, the mayor-president of East Baton Rouge told CNN that he believed three officers may have been killed in the attack.

 "There is still an active scene. They are investigating. Right now we are trying to get our arms around everything. It's just been one thing after another," Mr Holden said.

"They are in extremely bad shape," WAFB television said of the officers.

 Don Coppola, the Baton Rouge Police spokesman Sgt has confirmed that several officers were shot by gunfire.

The scene is now "contained," he said, but police are asking everyone to stay out of the area.  

William Daniel, the city-parish's chief administrative officer says two Baton Rouge officers have died. 

Video footage on American television networks showed police cars rushing to the scene as civilian cars retreated, while gun shots could be heard ringing out.

Casey Rayborn Hicks, East Baton Rouge Sheriff's Office spokeswoman tells The Advocate, the Baton Rouge news outlet that  the area is still an active scene. 

The area around the police headquarters and and the  Airline Highway is shut down from Goodwood Boulevard to Old Hammond Highway and from Old Hammond to Drusilla Drive

 About 20 police officers wearing bulletproof vests are near the scene and a helicopter is flying overhead.

Baton Rouge has been a flashpoint of racial tensions in recent weeks, seeing regular standoffs between police and community members following the killing of Alton Sterling, a young black man, by a police officer. That was followed by the killing of five police officers in Dallas a few days after the killing.

Protest organisers in Baton Rouge had said they were going to delay protests until after the funeral of Mr Sterling. 

Kip Holden, the Baton Rouge mayor said: “Common sense needs to prevail, we need to be the great city that this is.