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New Zealand mosques attack Highlights: 2 from Hyderabad among victims

49 people were killed after a gunman opened fire on Friday prayers at a mosque in New Zealand forcing the city of Christchurch into lockdown as police launched a massive manhunt.

By Agencies | Mar 16, 2019 00:13 IST
highlights

49 people were killed after a gunman opened fire on Friday prayers at a mosque in New Zealand forcing the city of Christchurch into lockdown as police launched a massive manhunt. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said that the gunman is a citizen of his country. He also called the shooter an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.

Here are the live updates:

9:55 pm IST

‘Despicable act of terrorism’: Rahul Gandhi

“The New Zealand Shooting is a despicable act of terrorism, that must be condemned unequivocally. The world stands in need of compassion & understanding. Not bigotry & hate filled extremism. My condolences to the families of the victims. My prayers go out to those who were injured,” tweeted Congress national chief Rahul Gandhi.

8:18 pm IST

Two Hyderabadis among victims in New Zealand firing

At least two persons from Hyderabad are among the victims of the shooting in two mosques of New Zealand’s Christchurch, according to their family members.

Ahmed Iqbal Jahangir (32), a resident of Amberpet area in the city, was grievously injured in the firing and is battling for life at a local hospital there, whereas the whereabouts of Mohammad Farhaz Ahsan from Tolichowki, who was also said to be in the same mosque for the prayers, are not known yet.

7:05 pm IST

PM Modi writes to New Zealand counterpart, expresses deep shock

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday expressed “deep shock and sadness” over the death of scores of people in the heinous terrorist attack in New Zealand while stressing India’s strong condemnation of terrorism and of all those who support such acts of violence.

In a letter to Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, Modi also underscored India’s solidarity with the people of her country at this difficult time.

The Prime Minister stressed India’s strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and of all those who support such acts of violence. He stressed that hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.

Modi also expressed his deepest condolences to the families bereaved in this dastardly attack, offered heartfelt prayers for the speedy recovery of the injured and underscored India’s solidarity with the friendly people of New Zealand at this difficult time.

6:55 pm IST

Hyderabad man shot at in New Zealand mosques attack

A man from Hyderabad was among those shot at in the horrific massacre at one of the two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch city on Friday.

Ahmed Jehangir, who was at Al Noor Mosque for Friday prayers, was injured and taken to hospital, his brother Khursheed Iqbal Jehangir told IANS in Hyderabad.

“My brother was shot in his chest. A video I received shows him lying on stretcher,” Khursheed said.

Ahmed, settled in New Zealand for 15 years, runs a Hyderabadi food restaurant near Al Noor Mosque. His family members were safe.

6:04 pm IST

9 Indian origin people missing after New Zealand shootings

At least 9 people of Indian nationality or Indian origin have been listed as missing after Friday’s Christchurch shootings at two New Zealand mosques, Indian envoy to New Zealand Sanjiv Kohli tweeted, citing updates received from multiple sources.

5:31 pm IST

Facebook removes video

Facebook says it has taken down a video of shootings at a New Zealand mosque and removed the alleged shooter’s accounts from its platforms after being alerted by police.

The man who allegedly carried out the shootings in Christchurch on Friday reportedly broadcast 17 minutes of the attack on a Facebook livestream.

Facebook New Zealand spokeswoman Mia Garlick said in a statement that the company is “also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.”

She said the company “will continue working directly with New Zealand Police as their response and investigation continues.”

5:25 pm IST

Trump condemns ‘horrible’ New Zealand mosque attacks

US President Donald Trump condemned as a “horrible massacre” twin mosque attacks in New Zealand that killed at least 49 worshippers and wounded dozens more during Friday prayers.

“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!” Trump wrote on Twitter after the Christchurch attacks.

5:24 pm IST

Pope voices solidarity with Muslims

Pope Francis assured “all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity,” after Friday’s attacks on two mosques which left 49 people dead.

The pope was “deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence,” Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said in a telegram, according to news agency ANI.

5:23 pm IST

Vicious act of hate: US condemns Zealand mosque attack

The United States called the deadly attack at two New Zealand mosques during Friday prayers a “vicious act of hate.”

“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,” said White House press secretary Sarah Sanders.

5:21 pm IST

All companies need to act faster to remove terrorist content: May’s spokeswoman

All companies should act faster to remove “terrorist content” online, British Prime Minister Theresa May’s spokeswoman said on Friday when asked about videos of shootings at mosques in New Zealand appearing on the social media and newspaper websites.

“The government is clear that all companies need to act more quickly to remove terrorist content,” the spokeswoman said.

5:18 pm IST

‘Deeply saddened’: Queen on New Zealand mosque attacks

Queen Elizabeth II, New Zealand’s head of state, said she was “deeply saddened” by the attacks on two mosques on Friday which left 49 people dead.

“I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch... At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders,” she said in a message.

“Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives,” she said, paying tribute to emergency workers and volunteers providing support to the injured.

Queen Elizabeth, 92, the world’s oldest and longest-serving living monarch, is queen of 15 other realms besides Britain, including Australia, Canada and New Zealand.

5:15 pm IST

‘Lucky’ to avoid mosque shootings: Bangladesh cricketers

Members of the Bangladesh cricket team arrived by bus at Masjid Al Noor mosque for Friday prayers when they heard gunshots.

Had they arrived a few minutes earlier they would have been inside the mosque, where at least 30 people were killed by a gunman with an automatic rifle.

When the bus carrying some players and coaching staff arrived at the mosque, they heard but did not see the shootings, Mohammad Isam, a journalist traveling with the Bangladesh team, told The Associated Press.

The players were kept on the bus by police, then later allowed to leave and to walk to nearby Hagley Oval, where they were to begin the third cricket test against New Zealand on Saturday, but the match has since been cancelled.

“We must have been about 50 yards from the mosque. I would say we were really lucky,” Mashud said. “Had we reached even three or four minutes earlier, we probably would have been inside the mosque. This could then have been a massive incident.”

5:13 pm IST

Will take down content on mosque shootings: Facebook, Twitter

Social media platforms Facebook and Twitter said on Friday they would take down content involving mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques that killed at least 49 people and wounded more than 20.

A suspected gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a “manifesto” in which he denounced immigrants.

The video footage, posted online live as the attack unfolded, appeared to show him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside.

Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay huddled on the floor, the video showed. Reuters was unable to confirm the authenticity of the footage.

“Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video,” Facebook tweeted.

5:09 pm IST

India’s High Commission in New Zealand offers support

India’s High Commission in New Zealand on Friday said that any Indian national affected by the attacks on two Christchurch mosques can contact the mission for assistance.

At least 49 worshippers were killed in attacks on the Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and the Linwood Mosque in the city’s outer suburb, in what appeared to be the worst attack on Muslims in a western country.

Expressing shock over the incident, the mission tweeted two contact numbers 021803899 and 021850033 for providing assistance.

“We are shocked to hear about the shooting in Christchurch. Any Indians needing assistance should contact us at 021803899 or 021850033,” the Twitter account of the Indian High Commission in New Zealand said.

4:09 pm IST

Turkish President condemns mosque attack

World leaders expressed condolences and condemnation Friday following the deadly attacks on mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch, while Muslim leaders said the mass shooting was evidence of a rising tide of violent anti-Islam sentiment.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the attacks the “latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.”

4:02 pm IST

17 flights cancelled

National carrier Air New Zealand has cancelled at least 17 flights in and out of Christchurch, saying it couldn’t screen customers and their baggage following deadly shootings at two mosques.

The airline said some smaller planes travelling on regional routes were cancelled while larger jet planes would continue landing and taking off due to security screening processes already in place.

03:48 pm IST

New Zealand police evacuate neighbourhood amid mosque attack probe

New Zealand police investigating Friday’s mosque massacre in Christchurch have evacuated residents living near a property in the city of Dunedin that they believe is linked to the attacks, officials said. Police said the property, located some 350 kilometres (220 miles) from Christchurch, was “of interest” in relation to the mosque attacks which left 49 dead. “Evacuations of properties in the immediate area have taken place as a precaution,” police said in a statement, according to news agency AFP.

03:33 pm IST

Kashmir condemns mosques bloodbath, prays for victims

The Kashmir Valley, never immune to violence, on Friday came together to denounce the massacre of 49 people in two New Zealand mosques saying the brutality proved that there is no place terrorism cannot reach. Across the political divide and on the street, Kashmiris voiced their disgust over the way gunmen said to be white entered two mosques and opened indiscriminate fire, even filming the gruesome killings, according to news agency IANS.

03:08 pm IST

Contact us for help: Indian mission in New Zealand

The Indian High Commission on Friday said any Indian caught up in the Christchurch mosque massacre and needing assistance could contact it.

“We are shocked to hear about the shooting in Christchurch. Any Indians needing assistance should contact us at 021803899 or 021850033,” the mission tweeted.

“Our prayers go out to everyone who is affected,” it added, according to news agency IANS.

03:03 pm IST

France steps up security near religious sites after New Zealand attacks

French authorities have stepped up security measures near religious sites after deadly attacks against two mosques in New Zealand left 49 people dead, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Friday.

“Patrols will be held around religious sites,” Castaner said on his official Twitter account.

02:55 pm IST

‘Stepping up patrols around mosques in UK ’, says UK counter terrorism chief

UK counter terrorism chief says stepping up patrols around mosques in UK following New Zealand attacks, according to news agency Reuters.

02:20 pm IST

The Australian reportedly wrote a manifesto declaring his intentions, Commissioner Bush told the media

A man who claimed responsibility for the attacks left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he said he was a 28-year-old white Australian and a racist, according to the statement by The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) . Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the attack was carried out “by an extremist right-wing violent terrorist” and media reports indicate that the manifesto posted before the attack includes anti-Muslim rhetoric.The white supremacist author of the manifesto called himself a supporter of President Donald Trump, who he sees “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

02:00 pm IST

Facebook removed livestream video as soon as alerted

“Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we quickly removed both the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts and the video. We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware”, Facebook tweeted.

01:50 pm IST

Man charged to appear in court, says Police Commissioner

New Zealand police have charged one man with murder following a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch which left at least 49 people dead.“One person, a male in his late 20s, has been charged with murder, and should appear in the Christchurch Court tomorrow morning,” said New Zealand police Commissioner Mike Bush.

 

01:42 pm IST

49 dead in New Zealand mosque shootings

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says death toll has increased to 49 in mosque attacks, according to AP. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had earlier said: “It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack... one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

01:30 pm IST

‘Strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand terrorist attack on mosques’, says Imran Khan

Imran Khan, Prime Minister of Pakistan, blames 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 in a tweet. He offered his prayers to the victims and their families.

01:24 pm IST

Australia takes precautions after national carries out NZ mosque massacre

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Australian authorities were investigating any links between the country and the attack, but declined to provide further details about the gunman. Australian media reported the gunman came from a town in New South Wales, of which Sydney is the capital, and state police later said they were increasing patrols around NSW mosques in light of the Christchurch attacks, as per news agency AFP.

01:15 pm IST

‘I am deeply saddened by this uncivilized act’, says Malaysian leader

In Muslim-majority Malaysia, Anwar Ibrahim, the leader of the biggest party in its ruling coalition, said: “I am deeply saddened by this uncivilized act, which goes against humanistic values and took the lives of civilians,” according to Reuters.

01:10 pm IST

‘Indonesia condemns this shooting act’, says Foreign Minister

“Indonesia strongly condemns this shooting act, especially at a place of worship while a Friday prayer was ongoing,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said in a statement. She was earlier cited by media as saying six Indonesians had been inside one mosque when the attack occurred, with three managing to escape and three unaccounted for, according to Reuters.

01:00 pm IST

Facebook, YouTube blindsided by mosque shooter’s live video

Social media platforms including Facebook Inc. are facing harsher scrutiny after a shooter accused of killing 40 people in two mosques in New Zealand appeared to livestream the murders over the internet. While platforms including Twitter and YouTube said they moved fast to remove the content, users reported it was still widely available hours after being first uploaded to the alleged shooter’s Facebook account, as per Bloomberg.

12:50 pm IST

Turkey’s Erdogan ‘strongly condemns’ New Zealand mosque killings

“I strongly condemn the terror attack against the Al Noor Mosque in #NewZealand and Muslim worshippers. May Allah have mercy on the victims and grant a speedy recovery to the wounded,” the Turkish leader, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wrote on Twitter in English; according to news agency AFP.

12:45 pm IST

New Zealand shooter went to car to change guns, returned to kill more: Report

After parking his vehicle he took two guns and walked a short distance to the entrance of the mosque.He then opened fire. Over the course of five minutes, he repeatedly shoots worshippers, leaving well over a dozen bodies in one room alone. He returned to the car during that period to change guns, and went back to the mosque to shoot anyone showing signs of life, says Reuters.

12:33 pm IST

40 dead in New Zealand mosque shootings

Forty people were killed and 20 more were seriously injured in armed assaults on two Christchurch mosques Friday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. Witnesses spoke of victims being shot at close range, with women and children also believed to be among those killed. A Palestinian man who was in one of the mosques said he saw someone being shot in the head, according to news agency AFP.

12:25 pm IST

The gunman at one mosque was an Australian-born citizen

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the shooting in Christchurch was carried out by “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist” who was an Australian-born citizen, according to news agency AFP.

12:17 pm IST

It’s clear this is a terrorist attack: New Zealand PM

“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned.” “Two explosive devices attached to suspect vehicles have now been found and they have been disarmed,” she added, according to news agency AFP.

12:10 pm IST

Bangladesh cricketers escape shooting attack in NZ mosque, tour called off

The Bangladesh team, which was about to enter the mosque to offer prayers, escaped unscathed but the prevailing situation led to the authorities calling off the third and final Test match starting Saturday, according to news agency PTI.