Fifty people are now known to have died and fifty-three injured in a shooting in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, the city’s mayor Buddy Dyer has said.
The gunman, named by law enforcement officials as Omar Mateen, was killed after taking hostages at the Pulse club. The attack is the worst US mass shooting in the last 25 years.
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”. A nationwide moment of silence will be held at 18:00 local time (22:00 GMT).
Officials said the killings were likely to be ideologically motivated, though there was no information that the gunman was associated with a particular group. Few hours ago ISIL claimed responsibility for the shooting.
Mr Obama described the attack as “the brutal murder of dozens of innocent people”. “It was an act of terror and an act of hate,” he said, adding that it was a heartbreaking day for the LGBT community.
An attack on any American is an attack on all, he added. “We are united in grief, in outrage and resolve to defend our people.”
Omar Mateen, who was the suspect is a US citizen from the Florida town of Port St Lucie and was of Afghan descent, was not on a terrorism watch list.