In the early hours of 12 June, a gunman opened fire during an evening of drinking, dancing and drag shows at the gay night club Pulse in Orlando, Florida. The police have identified the gunman as Omar Mateen, 29, of Florida, who died in gun battle with SWAT teams, after the mass shooting.

Officials have reported that Mateen called 911 and pledged allegiance to Islamic State (Isis) before carrying out the attack.

Omar's father, Seddique Mateen, described an incident in downtown Miami in which Mateen saw two men kissing in front of his wife and child and became angry and Seddique made a possible link between the two events. "He saw two men kissing each other... and got very angry. Maybe that's why he went after a gay club".

Seddique Mateen had an occasional television programme on a US-based Afghan satellite channel Payam-e-Afghan, and told NBC that he was "apologising for the whole incident, we weren't aware of any action he is taking. We are in shock like the whole country."

Social media users have made a poignant stand against the LGBT-targeted attack, with people all over the world posting photographs of men embracing, using the hashtag #TwoMenKissing, in defiance against homophobia and the attacks that took place at the Pulse night club.