Father, son first to be buried after attacks

Erika Holt
March 21, 2019

Hundreds of mourners gathered in a Christchurch cemetery on Wednesday for the first funerals of those killed in the twin mosque massacre as New Zealanders braced for days of emotional farewells following the mass slayings.

The 28-year-old Australian gunman attacked two mosques in Christchurch, killed 50 people and wounded almost 30 others while broadcasting on Facebook live before police brought an end to his rampage within 21 minutes of the first emergency calls concerning the shooting.

He appears to celebrate the Christchurch shootings on Friday and refers to the vehicle bomb attack on 40 Indian soldiers in Pulwama last month by the extremist group Jaish-e-Mohammed. Around 10 of them were in critical condition, including a 4-year-old girl.

The family arrived a year ago as refugees from the Syrian maelstrom only to find tragedy in a land where they had sought sanctuary.

ASSOCIATED PRESS Zaed Mustafa, center in the wheelchair, is the brother of Hamza and son of Khalid Mustafa who were killed in the March 15 mosque shootings in Christchurch, New Zealand.

At the school assembly, Ardern shared an embrace with Bri, a 13-year-old Year 9 student, who opened the question and answer session by asking her: "How are you?" "I should be lying beside you".

Among those in attendance was Abdul Aziz, an Afghan refugee who bravely confronted the white terrorist at Linwood Mosque. She spent her time following the crimes with victims and mourners and aid workers, alongside them at the most crucial of times.

"I reject the idea we are losing that relationship".

In a sign of the lingering tensions, mourners said the PA system at the funeral broadcast a message announcing proper evacuation procedure from the venue in the event of an emergency.

Islamic tradition usually requires burial within around 24 hours of death as a sign of respect for the deceased.

So far, six of the victims' bodies have been returned to their families.

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She called the experience "really interesting" and noted that only her husband and son knew about her living situation. Williams, who said she has a 24-hour sober coach, did not specify whether she was being treated for cocaine addiction.

Four other burials were under way on Wednesday evening.

Bush said the arrest occurred 21 minutes after police were first notified about the shooting, correcting himself from earlier when he gave a timeline of 39 minutes.

Mr Erdogan, while campaigning for local elections, presented the Christchurch attack on Friday as part of an assault on Turkey and Islam.

"I'm very happy. I'm wearing white".

Mr Morrison today summoned the Turkish ambassador to Australia to his office to demand the comments be withdrawn and said further diplomatic action could follow if they were not.

The youngest was a boy of three, born in New Zealand to Somali refugee parents.

The teen was a student at Cashmere High School and was compassionate and hard-working, according to the principal Mark Wilson.

She told the students that help was available, if needed.

The PM addressed a special meeting on Tuesday, opening her speech with "As-Salaam Alaikum", which in English means "peace be upon you".

She called on New Zealanders to deprive the 28-year-old gunman of the publicity he craved by never uttering his name, and to instead invoke only the names of his victims.

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