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Florida mass shooting: Gunman's father apologises for son's actions

Omar Mateen's father, Seddique, says he and his family are shocked by the murders.

Outside of Pulse nightclub after a fatal shooting and hostage situation on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The suspect was shot and killed by police after 50 people died. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - The father of the gunman who murdered 49 people in Orlando has apologised for his son's actions and has declared them an act of terrorism.

Omar Mateen opened fire in a gay nightclub and pledged allegiance to Isis during a 911 call before he was killed by authorities outside the popular venue.

The 29-year-old is believed to have been harbouring disdain towards members of the LGBTI community and was also previously investigated by the FBI for his connections to Isis.

WATCH: 50 killed in Florida nightclub mass shooting.

Anguished family members have now identified the bodies of 48 of their loved ones.

Mateen's father Seddique says he and his family are shocked by the murders.

"I am mad and if I had known that he was committing such a crime, I would have had him arrested myself, I would have called the FBI and I would have called the local law enforcement."

In the last few minutes the Dalai Lama has spoken about the mass killing.

The Tibetan spiritual leader has told an audience in Washington that the attack is a very serious tragedy.

FORTY-THREE REMAIN HOSPITALISED

Meanwhile, 42 victims in the shooting remain hospitalised as tributes and messages of solidarity with the LGBT community are being expressed across the US.

Flags are flying at half-staff outside the White House and dozens of vigils have been staged across the country as signs of support for the community.

The victims range in age from 21 to 50 - their names are slowly being made public as Americans question how another tragedy of this magnitude, involving an assault rifle and a handgun, could have happened.