Orlando shootings: Attacker had 'hatred in his heart'

ORLANDO - The father of a gunman who killed 50 people in an Orlando gay club says he did not know that his son had "hatred in his heart".

Omar Mateen killed 50 people and wounded 53 more in the deadliest mass shooting in recent US history, before being shot dead by police.

Seddique Mateen said he did not understand why his son carried out the shooting at the Pulse nightclub.

He had earlier said his son was angered after seeing two men kissing in Miami.

In a statement posted online and addressed to people in his native Afghanistan, Seddique Mateen said his son was "a very good boy", who had a wife and a child.

"I don't know what caused it," he said. "I never figured out that he had hatred in his heart....I am grief-stricken."

He added he did not know why his son committed such an act during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan, adding that the fate of gay people "is not in the hands of humans" as it was only God who could judge.

The so-called Islamic State group (IS), which said it was behind the shootings, had called for attacks on the West during Ramadan.

On Sunday, Seddique Mateen said: "We are apologising for the whole incident. We are in shock, like the whole country."

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