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Key writes to Obama over Orlando massacre

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 13/06/2016
Victims and witnesses make their way out of the Orlando police headquarters after a terror attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida. © Craig Rubadoux/Florida Today via USA TODAY NETWORK Victims and witnesses make their way out of the Orlando police headquarters after a terror attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

Prime Minister John Key has written to US President Barack Obama expressing New Zealand's condolences for the Orlando massacre victims.

"No innocent person should have to worry about such violence when going about their daily lives, or be persecuted for their beliefs or lifestyle," he said on Monday.

"Our thoughts are with the victims of the atrocity, their families and friends, and those that responded to the tragic attack."

Labour leader Andrew Little has also condemned the attack by 29-year-old Omar Mateen, who shot dead 50 people in an Orlando nightclub and wounded at least 53.

Mateen was killed by SWAT officers at the scene.

Mr Little said the "horrific hate crime" had left people around the world feeling despair and outrage.

"We also pay tribute to the brave emergency services personnel that rushed in to help the victims with little regard to their own safety," he said.

The Green Party offered its sympathy to the victims and their families.

"We are thinking about the people who have been caught up in this attack, and offer our heartfelt sympathies to those still waiting to hear about loved ones who may have been hurt," said global affairs spokesman Kennedy Graham.

ACT leader David Seymour expressed his party's sadness.

"It is vital that we stand by our values of freedom and tolerance, and condemn those who promote hatred, whether they are from within our outside New Zealand," he said.

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