Obama Comforts Florida Massacre Survivors

Obama Comforts Florida Massacre SurvivorsObama Comforts Florida Massacre Survivors

US President Barack Obama traveled to Orlando to grieve with and comfort the survivors and the families of victims of the deadly mass shooting, telling family members "our hearts are broken too."

Despite hot temperatures, hundreds of people were at a downtown sports arena to see President Obama.

Obama said the families of the 49 people who were killed by a gunman in the Orlando nightclub were experiencing grief that is "beyond description" and added that they "could be our families" and "are part of the American family", AP reported. After the worst mass shooting in modern US history at the Pulse nightclub on Sunday, Obama said lawmakers need to "rise to the moment and pass gun control" and that the country's partisan debate on guns "needs to change".

"The motives of this killer may have been different than the mass shooters in Aurora or Newtown," Obama said, listing two in the litany of mass shootings that have marked his presidency. "But the instruments of death were so similar."

The gunman, who killed 49 people and injured 50 before being shot dead by police, 29-year-old Omar Mateen, was a US-born citizen to Afghan immigrants. He pledged allegiance to the self-styled Islamic State terrorist group during his lethal rampage, and IS has claimed the attack.

But other than his pledge of allegiance, US officials have said they see no evidence the gunman was in communication with IS.

CIA Director John Brennan told a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing on Thursday that the agency had "not been able to uncover any direct link" between Mateen and foreign militants.