US President Barack Obama has denounced the "vicious, calculated and despicable attack on law enforcement" officials in Dallas, Texas. Obama was speaking from the Polish capital, Warsaw, where he is attending a Nato summit following Britain's decision to leave the European Union (EU) on 23 June.
Five Dallas police officers were shot dead and another six were wounded after being targeted by snipers during protests against shootings of black men by police. One suspect who was in a stand-off with police shot himself dead and a further three suspects are in custody.
Obama expressed his "deepest condolences to the American people" at a time where tensions between the country's black community and law enforcement are running high following the killings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling. Both men were killed by officers in a 48 hour time frame and footage of both incidents was captured on mobile phone cameras.
"Even as I spoke yesterday about our need to be concerned about racial disparities in the criminal justice system, I also said that our police have an extra difficult job and the majority of them do their job in an outstanding fashion," said Obama.
"We need to be supportive of our officers who do their job every single day – it's a wrenching reminder of the sacrifices they make for us."
The US leader added that people across the country were "horrified" at the attack and said: "We stand united with the people and police department in Dallas." Obama offered support to Mayor Rawlings of Dallas and made a pledge that the federal government will provide assistance in any way necessary.
Obama refrained from giving an extensive statement as all the facts are yet to be determined. Donald Tusk, President of the European Council stood shoulder to shoulder with the US and said: "I am deeply sorry about what has happened in Dallas. We are with you in this."
Referring to the types of firearms on America's streets, Obama said: "We also know that when people are armed with powerful weapons unfortunately it makes attacks like these more deadly and more tragic. And in the days ahead we are going to have to consider those realities as well. In the meantime our focus is on the victims and their families.
"Police across America, it's a tight-knit family, feels this loss to their core, and we are grieving with them. As a nation let's remember to express our profound gratitude to our men and women in blue, not just today, but everyday."