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U.S. Marine shot dead at North Carolina base

(Reuters) - A U.S. Marine was killed at a military base in North Carolina on Tuesday when a sentry's rifle discharged, a base spokesman said, without specifying whether the shooting was intentional.

The incident took place at around 5:30 p.m. at the main gate of the Camp Lejeune base. One sentry discharged an M4 rifle, killing a second sentry in the guard shack with a single shot to the chest, Marine Captain Joshua Smith said.

The shooting, which was under investigation, was thought to have been an isolated incident that was not terrorism-related, he said.

Last week a gunman shot dead three people and wounded 16 at Fort Hood Army base in Texas before turning the gun on himself. The incident fanned a debate on gun rules on U.S. installations.

Camp Lejeune, located outside Jacksonville, was founded in 1941 and is home to one Navy and several Marine commands.

The dead Marine was not immediately identified, pending notification of next of kin.

(Reporting by Dan Whitcomb and Eric M. Johnson; Editing by Cynthia Osterman and John Stonestreet)