World Holds Vigils For Orlando Shooting Victims

Last Sunday, Omar Mateen entered Pulse, a renowned gay bar in the area armed with an assault rifle. His massacre had ended 49 lives and injured 53. Survivors described him as having pledged allegiance to the Islamic State upon starting his assault.

In Orlando, Florida, families of victims and sympathisers organised mass vigils for those who died. Communities of LGBTs in France, Australia, United Kingdom and Germany had also gathered and held vigils.

According to a Muslim cleric attending the Orlando event, they stood with those who held vigils, stating they are against “the ideology of hatred, death and destruction.”

Investigators claim that Mateen was heavily influenced by extremist ideologies strewn all over the Internet. However, they said the evidence fell short to establish Mateen as an IS agent before the shooting began.

Mateen was an employee of G4S, a global security group.

Thousands of people in Orlando on Monday held candles and flowers in tribute to the victims.

“Pulse gave me confidence, made me realise I was normal and so much like everyone else,” said Cathleen Daus, a former employee at the club who attended the vigil.

Australia’s landmark Sydney Harbour Bridge was lit in the rainbow colours of the gay community flag as hundreds gathered to pay tribute.

“This could have happened anywhere,” Paul Savage told AFP news agency at the candlelit vigil.

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