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Orlando shooting: Barack Obama meets victims and pleads for unity

  • America is in mourning after the worst mass shooting in its history
  • Omar Mateen's attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando left 49 people dead
  • So-called Islamic State claimed responsibility for the attack
  • President Obama says there is no clear evidence the gunman was directed by IS
  • Witnesses have claimed that Mateen was a regular visitor to the club he attacked
  • His wife said she tried to talk him out of conducting any kind of attack
  • His father has blamed security at the club for the attack
  • One gun shop refused to sell him ammunition as he was acting suspiciously

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Orlando survivor describes attack which killed best friend

A man who saw his best friend fatally shot during the Orlando massacre at a gay club has described waiting for death during a three-hour ordeal at the hands of gunman Omar Mateen.

Richard Aiken had been looking forwards to a night out with his friend Tevin Crosby but instead was caught up in the horrific attack in which 49 people were killed, he told ITV News International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar.

The friends were in the bathroom when they heard gunshots before being confronted by Mateen, who gunned down clubbers packed into the stalls together.

"We can hear the shots getting closer and closer," he said as the gunman approached before opening fire on the terrified group.

After each shot I just kept wondering am I next? Is this going to hurt? Where is he going to shoot me?

– Richard Aiken

Mr Aiken only discovered afterwards that his best friend was among the 49 dead.

"I don't have a best friend anymore, I don't have a person I can call," he said.

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