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Pope Francis has expressed horror and condemnation over the mass shooting in a nightclub in Orlando, Florida, on Sunday in which 50 people were killed and dozens more wounded, according to Vatican spokesman Federico Lombardi.

In a statement, Lombardi said the Pope was shaken and saddened by the "homicidal folly and senseless hatred" of the attack.

"We all hope that ways may be found, as soon as possible, to effectively identify and contrast the causes of such terrible and absurd violence," the statement said.

A gunman armed with an assault rifle carried out the attack on Sunday at a packed gay nightclub in what is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.

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