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Orlando nightclub dead felled by 200 bullets

09 August 2016, 15:13

Miami - The 49 people who were killed in June in the Orlando gay nightclub massacre were struck by 200 bullets, local media reported, quoting coroners.

The victims who died sustained 200 bullet wounds - without counting shots that hit the 53 injured people who survived, a report by the Orange County coroners' office said, according to the Orlando Sentinel newspaper.

Reached by AFP, the coroners' office said it would release a full statement on Tuesday.

Lone gunman Omar Mateen - a 29-year-old American of Afghan descent - opened fire early on June 12 at about 02:00 (06:00 GMT) in the Pulse nightclub before taking hostages in a bathroom.

Three hours passed as he remained in contact with police negotiators, who blasted their way into the club around 05:00.

New York-born Mateen was ultimately killed in the crossfire.

Americans have reeled from a string of recent shootings, including the Orlando massacre - the deadliest mass shooting in modern US history - which was carried out by a man authorities say was radicalised online.

In Dallas, Texas, five police officers were killed in July in a sniper-style attack, while three officers were gunned down in Baton Rouge, Louisiana just days later.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has pledged to strengthen gun safety laws including expanding background checks for all gun purchases.

Clinton's Republican White House rival Donald Trump has sought to paint Democrats as soft on crime and national security.



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