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The Queen releases statement over the Orlando shootings

The Queen has released a statement in which she expresses her shock over the shootings in Orlando which have claimed the lives of 50 people.

In the statement, Her Majesty says: “Prince Philip & I have been shocked by the events in Orlando. Our thoughts & prayers are with all those who have been affected.”

The Queen released the statement shortly after celebrating her 90th birthday in London today.

The shootings occurred in the early hours of Sunday, when a man entered a gay club and opened fire killing 50 people, and seriously injuring a further 53.

The shooting has been declared as an act of terror, however, as of yet there id no definitive motive of the shooter.

This is the worst mass shooting in recent US history and world leaders have been quick to show their condolences, shock and support.

President Barack Obama said Americans were united in grief, outrage and “resolve to defend our people”.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron said: “I’m horrified by reports of the overnight shooting in Orlando. My thoughts are with the victims and their families.”

French President Francois Hollande expressed “horror” at the events in Florida, and said Americans had the “full support of France in this difficult time”.

Pope Francis described the “homicidal folly” of the shooting.

The Islamist militant group, Daesh, have claimed responsibility for the attack, however, they did not specify whether they were behind the attack or simply inspired it.

All flags on federal buildings are  now being flown at half mast until sunset on Thursday out of respect for the victims.

The Orlando attack is the most deadly shooting in US history, having surpassed the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech where 32 people were killed.

The injured are being treated in Orlando hospitals, with urgent appeals being made for people to donate blood.

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