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Zelensky sends condolences to Texas for ‘murder of innocent children’ at Uvalde elementary school

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky has been among the world leaders to offer their condolences to Texas and the United States following the school shooting massacre in Uvalde, Texas.

Nineteen children and two adults were killed at an elementary school in the southern US state on Tuesday. The attack was the deadliest mass shooting event in the US this year, and the 27th at a school.

Mr Zelensky tweeted: “Deeply saddened by the news of the murder of innocent children in Texas. Sincere condolences to the families of the victims, the people of the US and President Joe Biden over this tragedy.”

The politician, whose country is currently at war with an invading Russia army, added: “The people of Ukraine share the pain of the relatives and friends of the victims and all Americans.”

His message came after Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba tweeted: “We stand in solidarity with you at this difficult time.” As have world leaders and Pope Francis expressed their sadness.

“My heart is broken over the massacre at the elementary school in Texas,” the pontiff was reported as saying on Wednesday. He also called for US lawmakers to “take action so that these tragedies do not happen again.”

US President Joe Biden has led calls for US lawmakers to take action on gun control, saying on Tuesday he was “sick and tired” of mass shootings ruining communities across the country.

Only 10 days prior to the Uvalde shooting, ten Black Americans were killed and three others were injured when alleged 18-year-old Payton Gendron attacked a supermarket in Buffalo, New York.

Republicans – who have long resisted gun reform despite tragedies such as Uvalde and Sandy Hook – have again repeated claims that arming teachers is better and that tighter control is “politicised”.

On Tuesday, an 18-year-old gunman, Salvador Ramos, was killed after breaking into the Robb Elementary School and according to authorities, barricaded himself in a fourth grade classroom with an AR-style rifle.

Twenty one people – a majority of whom were children – lost their lives.

Additional reporting by the Associated Press.

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