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Charleston Shootings: Dylann Roof photos found online

Images have surfaced online that appear to show the gunman that killed nine people at an African-American church in South Carolina posing with a gun.

Several of the photographs showed Mr Roof holding a Confederate flag
Several of the photographs showed Mr Roof holding a Confederate flag

The collection of photographs found on a website also show 21-year-old Dylann Roof burning the US flag and visiting a former slave plantation.

In one image he is shown staring down the camera while sitting on a chair in camouflage trousers holding a gun.

It is unclear who posted the images on the site, which was found on Saturday.

Flag criticism

The website also carries a racist manifesto, the provenance of which is also unknown. Internet records suggest the website’s domain was registered in February but it is unclear who was behind it.

A law enforcement official, quoted by AP, said the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was looking into the website.

Data from the images show many of them were taken in April and May this year.

The 21-year-old was also seen posing with wax reproductions of slaves
The 21-year-old was also seen posing with wax reproductions of slaves

Many of the photographs show Mr Roof posing with the Confederate flag, a symbol used in the US south during the civil war when southern states tried to break away to prevent the abolition of slavery.

It is viewed by many as symbolising the white supremacy advocated by those states at the time.

Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has joined calls for South Carolina to take down the controversial flag flying outside its capitol building in Columbia.

It follows US President Barack Obama’s remark that the flag belonged “in a museum”.

A demonstration was due to take place there later on Saturday by activists calling for its removal.

On Friday, South Carolina’s Republican state representative Doug Brannon told MSNBC that he planned to introduce legislation to remove the flag.

Left to right top: Cynthia Hurd, Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders. Left to right bottom: Ethel Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Susie Jackson, Daniel Simmons Sr
Left to right top: Cynthia Hurd, Clementa Pinckney, Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, Tywanza Sanders. Left to right bottom: Ethel Lance, Depayne Middleton-Doctor, Susie Jackson, Daniel Simmons Sr

Elsewhere, Democratic presidential contender Hillary Clinton has made an impassioned appeal for tougher gun laws, saying that her heart was “bursting” for the families of the victims of the Charleston shooting.

“We can have common sense gun reforms that keep weapons out of the hands of criminals and the violently unstable, while representing responsible gun owners,” she told a gathering of mayors in San Francisco.

Mr Roof was arrested on Thursday and charged with the murders of nine African-Americans at the Emanuel African Methodist Church in downtown Charleston.

Police said he spent an hour sitting with parishioners inside the church before opening fire on them on Wednesday evening.

Return to church

Crowds gathered outside the historic church on Saturday to hear pastors from across the US lead prayers. Many travelled hundreds of miles from across the country to pay their respects.

“There was an overwhelming feeling that made me drive here,” Monte Talmadge, a 62-year-old army veteran who drove nearly 300 miles (480km) to get to Charleston, told Reuters. BBC

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