Shocked at the horrific shooting at a US elementary school that left 20 small children and six teachers dead, world leaders today said it was a "senseless and incomprehensible act of evil", as President Barack Obama sought "meaningful action" to prevent such tragedies in future.
A gunman, identified as 20-year-old Adam Lanza in media reports, opened indiscriminate fire at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut yesterday killing 26 people. He later died from a self-inflicted gun shot wound, according to law enforcement agents.
Reacting to the horrific shooting, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described it as "heinous and unthinkable" even as New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg prodded Obama to take "immediate" action to correct the country's gun laws.
Ban extended his condolences to families of the victims and to "all others traumatised by this horrendous crime."
The UN chief wrote to Connecticut Governor Dan Malloy to express his deepest condolences at the "shocking murders".
Bloomberg, who is also the co-chair of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, said after similar incidents of "madness" in Virginia Tech, Aurora and Wisconsin, it is time Obama send a bill on gun laws to Congress to fix the problem.
"With all the carnage from gun violence in our country, it's still almost impossible to believe that a mass shooting in a kindergarten class could happen. It has come to that. Not even kindergarteners learning their A,B,Cs are safe," he said in a statement.
European Union diplomacy chief Catherine Ashton voiced her "shock" at the "tragic shooting, while head of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso mentioned his "deep shock and horror" over the incident, which he termed as a "terrible tragedy."