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Attack on Florida nightclub is worst shooting in US history

Friends and family members embrace outside the Orlando Police Headquarters during the investigation of a shooting at the Pulse night club. REUTERS/Steve Nesius

Attack on Florida nightclub is worst shooting in US history

Fifty people have been killed and 53 injured at a nightclub in Orlando, Florida in what has become the worst shooting in US history.

The gunman, named by officials as New York-born Omar Mateen, entered the Pulse gay nightclub and opened fire. He had a legally purchased assault rifle and handgun, as well as another “device.”

He was later killed by officials after a hostage situation.

Emergency officials said Mateen, after firing his first volley of shots, rang 911 and pledged his allegiance to Islamic State (IS). IS have claimed Mateen was acting on behalf of their terrorist group but US officials say there is no evidence to prove this as yet.

Mateen had been investigated by FBI officials in the past. He was questioned two times in 2013 after he allegedly invoked ties to terrorists during a dispute with co-workers.

President Barack Obama said Americans were united in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people” after “an act of terror and an act of hate”.

 

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