1. Orlando shooting: Across the world, shock and condemnation at the massacre

Orlando shooting: Across the world, shock and condemnation at the massacre

From across the world, officials and public figures are expressing condemnation and shock over the Florida mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando nightclub on Sunday.

By: | Florida | Published: June 13, 2016 2:52 PM
Orlando shooting: The sheer number of deaths appeared to overwhelm officials in Orlando, a city of 270,000 people.  Orlando shooting: The incident evoked reactions from all across the globe. (Reuters)

From across the world, officials and public figures are expressing condemnation and shock over the Florida mass shooting at the Pulse Orlando nightclub on Sunday when police say a gunman wielding an assault-type rifle opened fire, killing at least 50 people and wounding dozens.

ISRAEL

Israeli President Reuven Rivlin says in a letter to President Barack Obama that Israel stands ”shoulder to shoulder with our American brothers and sisters” after the attack on the LGBT community. Rivlin sent his condolences, saying there is ”no comfort for those who have had their loved ones torn away from them.”

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The Orlando attack has dominated news in Israel, which has seen a wave of Palestinian attacks in recent months. On Wednesday two Palestinian gunmen killed four people at a popular shopping and restaurant area in Tel Aviv. LGBT groups in Israel planned rallies and other support for the community in Orlando.

PALESTINIAN TERITORIES

Palestinian Prime Minister Rami Hamdallah says the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history is a ”senseless act of terror and hate” and that ”Palestinians stand with the American people in this difficult time.”

The statement made no direct reference to the LGBT community. Homosexuality is deeply taboo in the conservative Palestinian society. Gay Palestinians tend to be secretive about their social lives and some have crossed into Israel to live openly safely.

AFGHANISTAN

Afghanistan’s Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah told the Cabinet as he opened the weekly meeting live on television on Monday morning that the Orlando attack ”tells us that terrorism knows no religion, boundary and geography. Terrorism must be eliminated.”

He says that Afghans ”do not support terrorism but the victims of terrorist attacks” and offered his condolences to the people and government of the United States.”Our hearts and minds are with our U.S. partners.” He also urged ”collective actions to end such attacks.”

KUWAIT

Kuwait’s Foreign Ministry says the government strongly condemns the ”terrorist attack” that took place in Orlando, adding that the escalation of such assaults requires a doubling down of efforts on the part of the international community to eliminate ”this disgusting phenomenon.”

Last year, 27 people were killed by an Islamic State suicide bomber in Kuwait during prayer at a mosque in the capital.

QATAR

Qatar’s Foreign Ministry strongly condemned the Orlando mass shooting and called for concerted international efforts to ”face criminal acts that target civilians.”

EGYPT

Egypt’s Foreign Ministry condemned the Orlando attack ”in the strongest possible terms,” and offered condolences to the American government and people. ”Egypt stands next to the American people in these difficult times, offering sincere condolences to the families of the victims and wishing the injured a speedy recovery.”

Egypt’s statement urged for international solidarity and a ”firm, comprehensive approach to confronting terrorism, which knows no borders or religion, and is incompatible with all humanitarian principles and values.”

CHINA

China’s official Xinhua News Agency issued a statement saying President Xi Jinping had telephoned his American counterpart Barack Obama to express his condolences over the Orlando shootings.

Xi was quoted as saying that ”on behalf of the government and people of China, I convey to President Obama and the American government and people my deepest sympathies, sincere condolences and deep grief for the victims.”

JAPAN

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has condemned the Orlando nightclub attack and expressed condolences to the victims and their families.

Abe told reporters Monday in Oita that ”Japan stands together with the people of the United States” and that ”this despicable act of terror cannot be tolerated.”

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