New Orleans mayor ask for national guard troops after violent weekend

City leaders convened a special meeting to voice outrage after the killings Saturday in an area near the central business district.

Saturday's shootings - plus the fatal stabbing Sunday night in an argument over beer - brought this year's murder toll to 53, raising fears that violence was back on the rise in a city that was plagued by violent crime before Hurricane Katrina drove residents away last year.

Crime has been creeping up in the city: 17 killings in the first three months of 2006, and 36 since the start of April.

The shootings Saturday of five teenagers who had been in an sport utility vehicle together created one of the bloodiest attacks in this city's turbulent history; the last killing with that many victims was in 1995.

Nagin asked the governor to send up to 300 National Guard troops and 60 state police officers to patrol the city.

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Author`s name: Editorial Team