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Orlando gun massacre: Barack Obama consoles bereaved during low-key visit

By Josh Lederman

Published 17/06/2016

US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden pause after laying flowers for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden pause after laying flowers for the victims of the mass shooting in Orlando. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images

President Barack Obama has visited Orlando to try to console those mourning the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history.

Air Force One touched down in the grief-stricken community, where Mr Obama planned to spend a few hours meeting in private with families of the 49 victims and survivors.

The low-profile visit reflected the challenge for the president to find something meaningful to say about an attack that has stoked a wide mix of fears about terrorism, guns and violence against gay people. Even as the families of the victims bury their loved ones, it is unclear what led a 29-year-old Muslim born in New York to open fire in a gay nightclub early on Sunday.

White House press secretary Josh Earnest said Mr Obama would deal with the ambiguity in the Florida shooting by focusing on the victims.

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