Barack Obama is abandoning his European tour to visit the scene of the Dallas shootings

Barack Obama is cutting short a visit to Europe in order to return to the US and visit the scene of the Dallas shootings.

The US president will travel to Dallas early next week at the invitation of Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, The White House said.

Five police officers were shot dead and seven wounded on Thursday in an attack that has been described as one of the deadliest days for American police since the September 11 terrorist attacks. The attack occurred during a protest against the shooting of black men by police.

The White House said Obama is returning home from Europe one day earlier than scheduled in a bid to “try and bring people together” to support US police officers and communities.

Josh Earnest, Obama’s press secretary, said the president will also tart discussing “policy ideas for addressing the persistent racial disparities in our criminal justice system.”

The president will depart for Madrid on Saturday, before returning to Washington on Sunday night. The president will no longer travel to Seville.

Obama’s decision to return home came as further protests against the use of excessive force by police swept across the US.

San Francisco, Houston, Baltimore, Atlanta, and Philadelphia, saw mass demonstrations from angry US citizens on Friday night who marched and blocked roads in a bid to draw attention to racial attitudes within US law enforcement.

A black US military veteran that’s said to have been targeting white police officers was behind the killings earlier this week. The suspect, 25-year-old Micah Johnson, died after a long standoff with Dallas police officers in central Dallas.

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