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The number of law enforcement officers shot and killed in the line of duty increased sharply in 2016 relative to 2015, according to a preliminary report from The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.

The overall number of officer fatalities rose by 10 percent, remaining lower than the average for the previous ten years.

But the NLEOMF found that 64 officers were killed in firearm-related incidents in 2016 — a 56 percent increase over 2015, when 41 officers were killed. It’s the highest number of firearms-related deaths recorded since 2011, when the tally was 73.

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Those shooting deaths included 21 deaths in ambush-style shootings, “the highest total in more than two decades,” NLEOMF said in a statement.

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