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Mumbai students pay homage to Orlando killings through rangoli

Mumbai students lit candles near a Rangoli, an Indian form of art created on the ground, to pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando killing, in Mumbai on Monday.

Orlando shootoutIndian students light candles near a Rangoli. Pic/AFP

Law enforcement authorities have lowered the death toll from the weekend massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando to 49, the deadliest mass shooting in American history, explaining that the shooter had been counted in the original tally.

World leaders joined in condemning the murderous assault, which triggered grief and shock but also defiance in the gay and lesbian community as monuments from New York to Paris were being lit up in memory of the victims.

Orlando shootoutStudent holds a candle near a Rangoli, an Indian form of art created on the ground, to pay tribute to the victims of the Orlando killing, in Mumbai on Monday. Pic/AFP

Terrified survivors described how the gunman raked clubgoers with bullets, prompting a police SWAT team to storm the venue and shoot dead the attacker, identified as 29-year-old Omar Mateen.

The massacre -- which coincided with Gay Pride month in the United States -- cast a long shadow over a parade in Los Angeles parade where more than 100,000 marched.

In New York, the Tony Awards for musical theatre went ahead as planned but were dedicated to the victims of the massacre. The Empire State building went dark, while the spire of One World Trade Center was lit in the rainbow colors of the gay pride flag.

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