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Giffords returns to Tucson for Labor Day weekend

Congresswoman's second trip home since Jan. 8

U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords has returned to Tucson for Labor Day weekend to spend time with family and friends, her spokesman said Friday night.

Giffords last visited Tucson in May for Father's Day.

"This marks the fifth trip Gabby has made away from Houston since Jan. 8," said Gifford's spokesman Mark Kimble.

She made two trips to Florida to see her husband, astronaut Mark Kelly, command the space shuttle, a trip to Washington D.C. on Aug. 1 to vote on the debt-compromise legislation, and a visit home to Tucson in June.

She will make no public appearances and give no interviews during her time in Tucson, Kimble said.

“The congresswoman misses Tucson very much,” said Pia Carusone, Giffords' chief of staff, in a press release. “This weekend will be a welcome respite from her rigorous schedule of therapy. It will be good for her to again be in the desert that she loves.”

Kimble declined to provide specifics on the length of Giffords' trip or how she made the journey to Tucson.

Giffords has been rehabilitating in Houston since shortly after she was shot in the head during a public event in Tucson in January.

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Jared Lee Loughner is accused of killing six, including a 9-year-old girl and Arizona's chief federal judge, and shooting Giffords in what authorities charge was an assassination attempt.

He also is charged with wounding 12 others at the "Congress On Your Corner" meet and greet with constituents at a Northwest Side grocery store on the morning of Jan. 8.

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Gifford in a May photo, released in June by her office.