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Tornadoes, Wildfires Tear through Southern US


Tornadoes ripped through the southern U.S. state of Tennessee Friday, killing a woman and her baby and causing extensive property damage.

Officials said the storms in the city of Murfreesboro also sent at least 35 people to the hospital.

Authorities said the severe weather blew into Tennessee from the southwest, where on Thursday a tornado in the state of Arkansas killed three people. The governor of Arkansas, Mike Beebe, declared disaster areas in three counties in the state.

Further west, in Texas, officials said at least three people were killed in wildfires fueled by dry, windy conditions.

The fires have destroyed dozens of homes in Texas and the neighboring state of Oklahoma since they started on Thursday. There are reports that one blaze in Oklahoma was intentionally set.

The governor of Oklahoma, Brad Henry, declared a state of emergency in 31 affected counties.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.

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