Heartbreaking wait for news as Christchurch Muslims await loved ones for burial

Heartbreaking wait for news as Christchurch Muslims await loved ones for burial

Heartbreaking wait for news as Christchurch Muslims await loved ones for burial

A 28-year-old Australian man, a suspected far-right extremist who posted a manifesto detailing his anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim views, was charged with murder in a New Zealand court Saturday.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern held a series of meetings in Christchurch on Saturday to assure the Muslim community their safety was top priority. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube all said they had taken steps to remove copies of the videos.

The New Zealand premier was showered with vast praises internationally for the gesture, which made it clear that New Zealand stood by the Muslim community that was the centre of Friday's horrifying terror attacks rooted in racial as well as religious hatred.

People have also been laying flowers outside of mosques in other parts of New Zealand in solidarity with the victims and their famlies. One person died later in a hospital.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush says they are working as quickly as they can, but authorities have to be absolutely clear on the causes of death and confirm identities before they can release bodies. Several New Zealand politicians, including National Party leader Simon Bridges and parliament speaker Trevor Mallard, were on the mailing list.

Pakistan's foreign ministry spokesman says three more Pakistanis have been identified among those killed in the attacks on two mosques in New Zealand.

The atrocities took place in Masjid Al Noor mosque, where at least 41 people were killed and another seven were shot dead inside the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque.

"I think the public should be assured that we train for this, hoping we never, ever have to respond", he said. - AP Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019.

Victims came from across the Muslim world, including Indonesia, Malaysia, Turkey, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Vigil held in Vancouver for New Zealand mosque shooting victims
Vigil held in Vancouver for New Zealand mosque shooting victims

Abdikina Ali-Hassarn and his family moved to New Zealand from Somalia four years ago and were regular worshippers at the Linwood mosque.

One Bangladeshi told SBS News his friend, who had been at one of the mosques when the deadly attacks began, remained unaccounted for.

Bush also said that two people arrested around the time suspect Brenton Harrison Tarrant was apprehended are not believed to have been involved in the attacks on two mosques Friday.

Hagen Hopkins via Getty ImagesPrime Minister Jacinda Ardern speaks to media during a press conference at Parliament on Friday.

Kensington Palace has released a statement on behalf of Meghan Markle, Prince Harry, Prince William, and Kate Middleton in response to the New Zealand terror attack. Ardern suggested "now is the time for change" and hinted she was closely looking at rules regulating ownership of semi-automatic weapons.

Ardern said Tarrant was a licensed gun owner who allegedly used five weapons, including two semi-automatic weapons and two shotguns, which had been modified.

"Just around the entrance door there were elderly people sitting there praying and he just started shooting at them", Mazharuddin told Sky.

The Pacific Islands Association of non-governmental Organisations (PIANGO) also expressed its "heartfelt grief and sorrow" over the attacks.

Tarrant was not known to the authorities, Bush said, and had no previous convictions. "My message was sympathy and love for all Muslim communities", she said she told him.

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