FLORIDA — At least 50 people have been killed and another 53 injured after a heavily armed gunman opened fire and seized hostages at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, police say, in the worst mass shooting in US history.
As per local police, the shooter, identified as a 29-year-old US citizen of Afghan descent, had an assault-type weapon and a handgun as he stormed the gay club at around 2:00 am local time (0600 GMT).
Furious gun control supporters are questioning why laws are still permitting people with radical thinking or mental illness to acquire assault weapons.
US President Barack Obama was briefed on the mass shooting, which police described as an act of terrorism.
“Although it’s still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate,” Obama said, later ordering flags at half-staff as an act of mourning.
Obama also expressed heartbreak over the “horrific massacre”, branding it an act of terror and hate.
The US President, however, did not mention Islam or Islamic terrorism, as being blamed by some of his political opponents.
Hours after the untoward incident took place, while addressing a press conference, Florida Governor Rick Scott said, “The overnight shooting at a gay nightclub that left 50 dead and 53 wounded is “clearly an act of terror.”
“For somebody to go in there and be an active shooter and take that number (of lives) … is clearly an act of terror,” the Republican said.
Around 100 people were at the nightclub at the time of the shooting, and the shooter was killed by police in a shoot-out.
US officials cautioned, however, that they had no immediate evidence of any direct connection with Islamic State or any other foreign extremist group.
A police officer working as a security guard inside the Pulse nightclub, which has operated in downtown Orlando since 2004 and was hosting some 350 revelers, exchanged fire with the suspect, according to police.
Dozens of terrified patrons, some of whom had been hiding in restrooms, were rescued. One officer was injured when he was hit in his helmet while exchanging fire with the gunman, police added.
Representative Adam Schiff, the top Democrat on a congressional intelligence committee, noted that the shooting took place during Ramadan, and that ISIS leaders in Syria have urged attacks during this time.
With Agency InputsFollow @gorkhapost
Man divorces wife just 15 minutes after Islamic marriage in Dubai
A man in Dubai divorced his bride just 15 minutes after their Islamic marriage as he felt ‘insulted’ by her father’s bride price demands.
The man agreed to pay his new father-in-law Dh100,000 for their wedding but the older man became impatient to get the cash, DailyMail reported.
According to Gulf News, family members and friends accompanied the couple to a Sharia judge’s office to witness the marriage contract being signed. The groom then gave Dh 50,000 on the spot as agreed, with the rest to come after the party left the court building, according to Gulf News.
But, the bride’s father demanded the remaining cash as soon as the signing was over, even though the groom didn’t have it on him.
He said it would only take five minutes to walk to his car, which was parked outside, and get the rest of the bride price.
Instead of letting him retrieve it, the father insisted him to pay either right then or send a friend or relative to get the money while he stayed inside.
The groom felt insulted and demeaned by the series of demands and called off the marriage immediately, a lawyer handling the case said.
‘He told the bride’s father that he did not want his daughter as his wife and divorced her in less than 15 minutes from signing the marriage contract,’ he said.Follow @gorkhapost