CORRECTS HEADLINE, EDITS THROUGHOUT
By Esra Kaymak Avci
WASHINGTON (AA) – The motivation for the "most deadly shooting in American history" is not clear but that the FBI was investigating it an "act of terrorism", President Barack Obama said Sunday.
"We reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer," Obama said in an address to the nation following the deaths of least 50 people in a gun attack in a Florida nightclub.
Obama said he had directed his team to spare no effort in determining what and if any inspiration or association the killer may have had with terrorist groups.
"We are still learning all the facts. This is an open investigation," he said, adding that what is clear is that the killer was “filled with hatred”.
The shooting at the gay club was a reminder that attacks on any American -- regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or sexual orientation -- should be considered an attack on all Americans and the “fundamental values of equality and dignity” that define the U.S, Obama said.
Fifty-three people were also injured in the shootings at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, officials confirmed Sunday.
The shooter, who attacked the club in the early hours of Sunday morning, has been identified by Congressman Alan Grayson as Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen in his late 20s from St. Lucie, Florida.
Major American cities have tightened security measures in the wake of the shooting.
Condemnation from around the world poured in with world leaders voicing support in the wake of the shooting.
Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement condemning the terrorist attack and extended condolences to the American people.
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron said he was “horrified” by the deaths, while NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said he grieved with “the LGBT community, and the American people”.
President of the European Council Donald Tusk tweeted that Europe “mourns the victims of the horrific gun attack in Orlando” while London Mayor Sadiq Khan said he stood with Orlando “against hate and bigotry”.
*Anadolu Agency correspondents Busra Akin Dincer in London and Canberk Yuksel in New York contributed to this report