US, EU, UK, Pak condemn New Zealand mosque attacks

Mar 15, 2019 21:28 IST

Brussels [Belguim], Mar 15 (ANI): The mosque attack in Christchurch that killed 49 people and injured many others, revoked strong condemnation worldwide on Friday.

In the wake of the shootings, United States President Donald Trump took to Twitter saying, “My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”

“The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate,” White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said.

The indiscriminate shootings at two mosques in Christchurch took place while the people were reading their Friday prayers. Two gunmen reportedly entered the mosques and opened fire at the people.

In a statement, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, said, “It was with horror and profound sadness that I learnt of the terrorist attack on the Muslim community in Christchurch, New Zealand. I offer my sincerest condolences to the loved ones of the victims and the community as a whole.”

“We wish strength and courage to the injured and their families. The European Union (EU) mourns with you today and we will always stand with you against those who heinously want to destroy our societies and our way of life,” Juncker added.

Meanwhile, High Representative of the European Union (EU), Federica Mogherini, too reiterated condolences for the families and friends of the victims of the two terror attack and said, “We stand in full solidarity with the people and authorities of New Zealand at this extremely difficult time and stand ready to support in any way, including by strengthening our cooperation on counter-terrorism.”

“Attacks on places of worship are attacks on all of us who value diversity and freedom of religion and expression, which are the fabric of New Zealand’s society and shared by the European Union. Such acts strengthen our resolve to tackle, together with the whole international community, the global challenges of terrorism, extremism and hatred,” the EU added.

The New Zealand police have said that one of four people, including three men and one woman, arrested in the immediate aftermath of the attack on mosques is “not related to these events.” Whereas a man in his late 20s, who was charged with murder, will appear in court Saturday morning local time, CNN reported.

British Prime Minister Theresa May tweeted, “On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch. My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence.”

However, just before the attack, one of the suspects posted a link to an 87-page manifesto filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for a terror attack on his social media account.

In addition, the New Zealand police are also aware of a video shared online and broadcasted live during the attack, which shows a gunman walking into an unnamed mosque and opening fire.

“We would strongly urge that the (video) link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed,” the New Zealand police said.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan too condemned the Christchurch shootings on Twitter, saying, “This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.”

“I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately  to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles,” Khan added.

The police have further asked all mosques “nationally to shut their doors”, advising people from refraining to visit “these premises until further notice”.

The police have not revealed the identity of those in custody, so it is not known if the perpetrator who live-streamed the incident has been captured. Further information is awaited. (ANI)

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