Christchurch mosque shooting victims mourned by loved ones as funerals begin

Erika Holt
March 17, 2019

Bush said 41 people were killed at the Al Noor Mosque near Hagley Park in the city's center; seven were killed at a mosque in Linwood, a few miles away.

One person died in Christchurch hospital last night and staff are treating 42 patients, ranging from young children to adults, with gunshot wounds.

The number of people identifying as Muslims rose by 28 percent between 2006 and 2013, according to Stats NZ, and just over a quarter were born in New Zealand. "People are scared. Nobody ever thought something like this could happen in New Zealand". "We are outraged, we grieve with you, we are standing by you".

Australia and New Zealand's leaders have come together to condemn this week's mass shooting in two Christchurch mosques, calling it "an attack against all of us".

A front page of New Zealand newspaper The Dominion Post reflected the sense of shock and grief: "End of innocence".

"As a Muslim, we have to be positive".

"Even if you ask someone about the quake today they will start crying, so this tragedy will stay in the heart of everyone", says Raj Sandhu, 25, who moved to New Zealand from India three years ago, and came to the Al Noor mosque to pay his respects.

The Fijian rugby team also expressed their solidarity with the people of New Zealand after the attacks. The father in the family was killed, one son was wounded and another was missing, he said, citing information he had received from a friend of the family.

Saskatoon police said while there is no information to suggest a similar threat exists in the city, police want to ensure they address concerns within Saskatoon's Muslim community.

Police officers search the area near the Masjid Al Noor mosque site of one of the mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand Saturday
New Zealand Attack: What We Know

"For these people who are victims in these mosques - they are refugees, they are people who are from our migrant communities who've chosen to live in New Zealand, thinking they would find a safe place where they could be free in their religion and their culture".

There are about 1.5 million privately owned firearms in New Zealand, according to the most recent from 2017 data by GunPolicy.org, a global database compiled by the University of Sydney. Mohan Ibrahim has lived in the country for five years, but says after the attack, he does not feel safe.

"Auckland Cricket and New Zealand Cricket completely respect and support their decision". "One leg of an injured [person] needed to be amputated while another suffered bullet injuries in his chest", he said. "We couldn't do anything for our brothers".

There was a heavy police presence at the hospital where families of the more than 40 wounded had gathered. Photo: Copyright 2018 The Associated Press.

We were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone racism, because we are en enclave for extremism. If the shooting had started mid-prayer, he said, he thinks the death toll would have been higher.

At first, Mr Taylor and his colleagues had no idea what was happening, initially believing the alarms, sirens and general panic sweeping through the New Zealand city were signs of another quake, similar to the 6.2-level seismic disaster that destroyed massive swathes of the city in 2011.

"We we are sending out Pacific music of healing and hope for our Muslim communities in Aotearoa".

Shaik said his family is working to get updates on his uncle's condition, and several relatives in India and Saudi Arabia are trying to get into New Zealand so they can be by his uncle's side.

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