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Tuesday, 14 June 2016

King condoles with US over Orlando terror attack

  
Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman presides over a Cabinet meeting in Jeddah on Tuesday. (SPA)
JEDDAH: Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has sent a cable of condolences to US President Barack Obama on the massacre of 50 people at a bar in Orlando, Florida, by a man named Omar Mateen.
"We have received with great regret the news of the armed terrorist attack incident in Florida state which resulted in casualties and injuries. As we condemn and denounce this heinous criminal act, which is not approved by heavenly religions and international norms and conventions, we, on behalf of the government and people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, express to your Excellency, the families of the victims and the friendly people of the United States America our deepest condolences, stressing the importance of the concerted efforts of the international community to confront all acts of violence and terrorism," said the king’s message carried by the Saudi Press Agency.
Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Abdullah Al-Saud earlier said Saudi Arabia stands with the American people and prays for the recovery of all those injured in the attack. 
He also said Saudi Arabia is keen on working with the US and the international community to put “an end to these senseless acts of violence and terror."
Maj. Gen. Mansour Turki, Interior Ministry spokesman, said the attacker, Mateen, the man who carried out the worst mass shooting in modern US history, had traveled to Saudi Arabia in 2011 and 2012. He said Mateen performed Umrah for 10 days in March 2011, and eight days the following March.
A US official said his travel records indicate that he apparently also visited the UAE.
An Associated Press report quoted US authorities as saying Mateen had touted support not just for the Daesh group but also other militant factions, which are enemies of the Sunni extremist group.
At one point, Mateen expressed solidarity with a suicide bomber from the Syrian branch of Al-Qaeda, which is known as the Nusra Front and which is the Daesh group’s top rival. And a few years back, he claimed connections to the Lebanese Shiite Hezbollah group as well.