Obama: Florida mass shooting ‘act of terror, hate’

US President Barack Obama makes a statement regarding the Orlando mass shooting in Washington, DC,  June 12, 2016. (AFP photo)
US President Barack Obama makes a statement regarding the Orlando mass shooting in Washington, DC, June 12, 2016. (AFP photo)

US President Barack Obama has denounced the Sunday mass shooting in Florida as an act of terror and hatred, ordering the American flag lowered to half mast to honor the victims.

At least 50 people were killed and 53 more were injured in a shooting at the Pulse Club in Orlando, Florida on Sunday.

“Today as Americans we grieve the brutal murder, a horrific massacre of dozens of innocent people,” Obama said during a White House address to the nation.

“Although it is early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate,” the president added.

Referring to a meeting with FBI Director James Comey and other American security officials, Obama said that he has directed the government’s full resources to the ongoing investigations into the attack.

"The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terror. We will go wherever the facts lead us ... What is clear is he was a person filled with hatred," Obama continued.

Obama also issued a proclamation on Sunday, ordering the flag to be flown at half mast as a mark of respect to the victims.

Daesh claims responsibility

The gunman, identified by US media as an alleged Daesh sympathizer named Omar Mateen, took hostages at the club and barricaded himself in the complex but was later killed by specially trained SWAT units.

The terror group later on claimed responsibility for the attacks, according to media outlets affiliated with the terror group.

Mateen allegedly called 911 moments before the attack, pledging allegiance to the terror group, the Lost Angeles Times reported, citing a federal law enforcement official.

Earlier on Sunday, Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on a congressional intelligence committee had said that local law enforcement believed the suspect in Sunday's deadly Orlando shooting had pledged allegiance to the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group.


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