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Pope Francis joins world leaders to condemn New Zealand terrorist attacks

An attack against peaceful people gathering for prayer is shocking in its cruelty and cynicism: Vladimir Putin

Friday March 15, 2019 8:22 PM, ummid.com News Network

World Outraged after New Zealand terror attack

Rome/Washington/Wellington: Pope Francis Friday joined the world leaders to condemn the massacre of Muslim worshipers in Christchurch - an incident described as "darkest days in the history of the country" by Prime Minister of New Zealand.

Forty-nine people have been killed and at least 20 others injured in shootings at two mosques in New Zealand city of Christchurch in the worst attack in the Pacific country's history.

New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told a news conference that the mosque shootings appear to have been a well-planned "terrorist attack".

"This is, and will be, one of New Zealand's darkest days," an ashen-faced Ardern said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison also described one alleged gunman, who had Australian citizenship, as an "extremist, right-wing" terrorist.

The shooting was the deadliest in New Zealand's history.

One gunman live-streamed footage of his rampage to Facebook, filmed with a head-mounted camera. The footage showed him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children from close range inside the Al-Noor mosque.

Leading the world leaders to express their condolences to the families of the victims, Pope Francis denounced the “senseless acts of violence” in the Christchurch mosque shootings and prayed for the Muslim community and all New Zealanders.

He said he was “deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence at two mosques in Christchurch, and assured all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity in the wake of these attacks”.

US President Donald Trump extended his "warmest sympathy and best wishes" 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 US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!"

"Barbaric crime"

An official source at the Foreign Ministry said, "Saudi Arabia strongly condemns attacking 2 mosques during Friday prayers in Christchurch, southern New Zealand, which resulted in dozens of deaths and injuries."

The source reiterated Saudi Arabia's denouncement of all forms of terrorism, regardless its source, adding that terrorism has no religion and homeland, stressed the kingdom's position that religions should be respected.

The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars of Saudi Arabia also condemned the horrific terrorist attack that targeted worshipers in 2 mosques in New Zealand, resulting in dozens of deaths and injuries, including children.

"The Council of Senior Scholars condemns, in the strongest terms, this barbaric crime by extremist terrorists, calling on all countries and organizations to quickly criminalize racist speech; it feeds extremism and terrorism and leads to such brutal terrorist incidents", it said in a statement.

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, tweeted his condolences, noting that “on a day of peace like Friday and at a place of worship like the mosque, we witnessed the most heinous crime of religious hatred”.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he hoped New Zealand "will arrest these terrorists and do the necessary under the law of the country".

Indonesian President Joko Widoyo, head of the world's largest Muslim country, said "we strongly condemn these kind of violent acts".


"An attack against peaceful people gathering for prayer is shocking in its cruelty and cynicism," Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"I hope that those involved will be severely punished," he said in a message to Arden.


British Prime Minister Theresa May offered deepest condolences "after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch. My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence".

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack. London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy.”

Khan sought to reassure Muslim communities in London following the attacks, saying that the Metropolitan Police would be visible outside mosques.

Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez said his thoughts were with the victims, families and government of New Zealand after attacks by "fanatics and extremists who want to destroy our societies".

Japan said it stands by the people of New Zealand.

Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, in a regular news conference on Friday, expressed “heartfelt condolences” to the shooting victims and their families, while extending sympathy for the injured.

Suga expressed “solidarity with the people of New Zealand.”

"Ugly Face"

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg urged the international community to combat all forms of extremism after the Christchurch attacks, which revived painful memories of the 2011 Breivik mass killings in Norway.

"It's obviously very sad. It recalls painful memories of our own experience with July 22, the most difficult moment in the post-war period in Norway."

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom tweeted that she was “shocked by the attack in Christchurch”, saying “we condemn terrorism in all forms.”

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen also commented that “extremism has again shown its ugly face”.

"Hostility towards Islam"

"With this attack, hostility towards Islam that the world has been idly watching and even encouraging for some time, has gone beyond the boundaries of individual harassment to reach the level of mass killing," said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"If measures are not taken right away, news of other disasters will follow this one ... I am calling on the world, in particular the West, to take quick measures," he said.

"Odious attack"

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she mourned "with New Zealanders for their fellow citizens who were attacked and murdered out of racist hatred while peacefully praying in their mosques. We stand together against such acts of terrorism".

French President Emmanuel Macron echoed Merkel's message, condemning an "odious attack" and saying France "stands against any form of extremism". France has increased security measures at mosques and other religious sites after the deadly attack.

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the US-led alliance "stands with our friend and partner New Zealand in defence of our open societies and shared values".

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