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LGBTQ murders in US increased last year

NEW YORK (Reuters) – The number of murders of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people jumped 20 percent in the United States last year, activists said on Monday, releasing their findings a day after a mass shooting at a Florida gay nightclub left 49 people dead.

The violence in 2015 was the highest since 2012, according to the report by the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (NCAVP).

It said 24 lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people and people with HIV were murdered in the United States, a 20 percent increase from 2014.

The advocacy group released its findings a day ahead of their scheduled publication after the Orlando, Florida shooting, the worst mass murder in U.S. history.

Beverly Tillery, who heads the New York City Anti-Violence Project, which coordinates the NCAVP, called for public discussion on LGBTQ people and violence.

“This is … a tragedy that belongs to LGBTQ communities, but a tragedy that belongs to the entire nation as well,” she said.

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