40 years after escaping war, Afghan killed in Christchurch mosque

Erika Holt
March 17, 2019

Kiwis are struggling to comprehend how someone, allegedly 28-year-old Australian Brenton Harrison Tarrant, acquired semi-automatic weapons and slaughtered scores of people.

"It was a very bad day, not just all of us, all of New Zealand".

Interfaith prayers near the memorial in Christchurch. Children are among the 48 people being treated for gunshot wounds.

Last year, with large parts of the city functioning again, Christchurch once again began operating as a refugee resettlement centre, welcoming people from Syria in large numbers, some of whom were believed to be among the dead in Friday's attack.

One of the victims has uploaded a video from his hospital bed, to thank well-wishers and ask them to pray for his five-year-old daughter, who remains in a critical condition.

Facebook and other social media that carried the video struggled to purge it from their networks, earning rebukes from the public and industry experts for not acting swiftly enough. "Prayers go out to the victims and families whose lives have forever changed because of this senseless attack". I mean, you're killing people. I am really exhausted. "It will be hard to get past and I'm not sure how", Hindy said.

"He was professional, he was punctual, reliable.as normal as one person to the next", she said. I am just posting this video to show that I am OK. "Hi guys how are you. God bless you all".

Sayyad Milne, 14, died at the Al Noor mosque which he attended with his mother and friends every Friday, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Court photos of the man accused in the Christchurch mosque terror attack have been altered not to show his face due to an order from a New Zealand judge.

The Prime Minister added the immediate focus for the victim's families was to bury the dead in accordance with Islamic custom.

New Zealand mass murderer Tarrant A white supremacist who denounced immigrants as invaders
AOS push back members of the public following a shooting at a mosque in Christchurch New Zealand Friday

Paul Buchanan, a security analyst at the 36th Parallel consultancy, said between 1% and 2% of Christchurch's 340,000 inhabitants were Muslim.

"This is one of New Zealand's darkest days", she said.

The man has possessed a gun license since 2017 and belonged to the local Bruce Rifle Club, and practiced shooting an AR-15 - a civilian version of the US-made M-16 - on its range, according to New Zealand media.

Forty people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand on Friday, in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said was a terrorist attack. She said four people in police custody held extremist views, but had not been on any police watchlists.

New South Wales state Police Commissioner Mick Fuller said his officers are investigating to help New Zealand police and to ensure the safety of residents in the Australian state where suspect Brenton Tarrant is from.

At Christchurch hospital, where many members of the Muslim community spent Saturday waiting for news of loved ones, members of the public turned up offering auto lifts around town, food parcels and hot drinks, or just a friendly face to talk too.

The violent hatred undergirding such mass murders have all been linked to a process of ultra-right radicalisation that Western political and intellectual leaderships have done little to address, and in many cases have, knowingly or inadvertently, mainstreamed by demonising groups and pitting communities against each other.

The Bulgarian government has also said it was looking into Tarrant, who apparently visited the country late a year ago, as well as having earlier travelled to other parts of the Balkans - including Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Leaders around the world expressed sorrow and disgust at the attacks, with some deploring the demonisation of Muslims. "No. Peace and love will triumph".

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