Thousands attend London vigil to mourn Orlando shooting victims
Men embrace during a minute's silence in memory of the victims of the gay nightclub mass shooting in Orlando, in the Soho district of London, June 13, 2016. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Thousands of people held a two-minute silence at a vigil in London's Soho neighborhood on Monday to remember the victims of a massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

At least 49 people were killed and 53 others were wounded at the Pulse nightclub on Sunday before the gunman, who had pledged loyalty to Islamic State, was shot dead by police. It was the worst mass shooting in recent U.S. history.

From 1800 GMT bars stopped serving, crowds fell silent and hundreds of balloons were let off in memory of those killed. London Mayor Sadiq Khan was in attendance.

"We stand here today united together in solidarity with our U.S. neighbors, our friends, our colleagues, our family and all of those affected across the LGBT community," Scottish National Party equalities spokeswoman, Angela Crawley, told Sky News.

A vigil was also held in the Canal Street district in central Manchester, northern England - an area of the city that is filled with gay bars and restaurants.

The Metropolitan Police said there was no intelligence to suggest an increased risk of attacks in London but it has increased its patrols in areas popular with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community.

On June 25, Pride will hold their annual parade and related events in central London for the LGBT community.

(Writing by James Davey; Editing by Louise Ireland)