CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand

U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has visited the two New Zealand mosques where 51 worshippers were killed by a gunman in March.

Guterres told reporters outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch on Tuesday that he had no words to relieve the sorrow and pain. He says he wanted to come personally to express his love, support and admiration.

Guterres spend about 30 minutes inside the mosque talking to Muslim leaders and survivors of the attacks.

He then traveled to the Linwood mosque where he laid a wreath and met with survivors including Abdul Aziz, who is considered a hero for chasing the gunman and throwing a credit card machine and a discarded gun at him.

Guterres is visiting several South Pacific countries primarily to highlight the problems of climate change.

Source: Fox News World

More than 10,000 people attended a National Rugby League match between Manly and the New Zealand Warriors on Saturday in the first major sports event which Christchurch has hosted since the March 15 shootings at two mosques left 50 dead.

The game was scheduled as a home match for the Sydney-based Manly Sea Eagles before the shootings which rocked usually peaceful New Zealand. On Saturday it became another rallying point for a healing community.

A moment’s silence was observed for victims of the shooting during which players and match officials huddled in the center of Christchurch Stadium. The teams wore jerseys emblazoned with the hashtag #theyareus, referencing a statement made by New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern immediately after the shootings.

Ardern said Muslims who were targeted in the shootings are an intrinsic part of New Zealand society.

Warriors chief executive Cameron George said the Warriors would wear the hashtag for the remainder of the 2019 season.

“Like everyone, we were devastated with what happened a fortnight ago and we wanted to come up with a way to honor those who lost their lives,” George said, with the club “determined to do something lasting and meaningful.”

Manly won the match 46-12.

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Source: Fox News World

A man who survived the mosque attacks told a crowd of about 20,000 that he forgives the terrorist who killed his wife and 49 other people.

Farid Ahmed was speaking at a national remembrance service held Friday in Christchurch to commemorate those who died in the attacks two weeks ago.

It was the third major memorial held in the city since the attacks and a more formal occasion, with dignitaries from other countries attending, including Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

New Zealand’s police force put on a show of force, closing down nearby streets and patrolling the park with semi-automatic weapons. But the atmosphere was relaxed during the 90-minute service held on a sunny morning in Hagley Park.

Featured musical guest was Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens.

Source: Fox News World

Thousands of people have gathered in the New Zealand city of Christchurch to listen to prayers, songs and speeches at a vigil to remember the 50 people killed in a terrorist attack on two mosques.

One of those watching from a wheelchair was 21-year-old Mustafa Boztas, who was shot in the leg and liver during the March 15 attack at the Al Noor mosque.

Boztas says it was beautiful to see what the community had put together to show they care and that "we are all one."

Officials estimate up to 40,000 people attended the event on a sunny Sunday evening at Hagley Park. It was held on a stage that had been set up for a concert by Canadian singer Bryan Adams that was cancelled after the attacks.

Source: Fox News World

The family of a slain 3-year-old boy and a Jordanian prince are among those visiting a New Zealand mosque as it reopens for the first time since a terrorist killed 42 people there.

Hundreds of people stopped at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch on Saturday to lay flowers or pray after police removed a cordon and those running the mosque decided to reopen even though they haven’t yet had time to replace the carpet.

Inside the mosque, there were few signs of the carnage from eight days earlier. Crews had replaced windows that worshippers smashed in a desperate attempt to escape when the attacker mowed them down during Friday prayers. Bullet holes were plastered over and painted.

The gunman killed a total of 50 people at two mosques.

Source: Fox News World

Vascular surgeon Adib Khanafer says he was in shock March 15 when he walked into the operating theater and saw a 4-year-old girl on the table who had suffered gunshot wounds so severe she’d been in cardiac arrest for 30 minutes before stabilizing.

Khanafer is Muslim and knew some of the 50 people killed in last week’s attacks at two Christchurch mosques. He says he typically fixes veins and arteries on adults in controlled environments.

He operated successfully, although the girl remains in critical condition, and has since been transferred to a children’s hospital in Auckland.

He says the attacks deeply affected his family. He knew a colleague and a patient who were killed, and his wife knew many more people at the Al Noor mosque who died.

Source: Fox News World

The Latest on the mosque attacks in New Zealand (all times local):

3 p.m.

An Australian national security official says security agencies are increasing their "scrutiny and pressure" on white supremacists after the New Zealand mosque attack.

Home Affairs Department chief executive Mike Pezzullo told a Senate committee on Friday that Australian agencies were working to assist the New Zealand investigation into the Australian man arrested in the killings of 50 worshippers in two Christchurch mosques last week.

Brenton Tarrant espoused white-supremacist views in a manifesto describing his plans for the attack, and racist imagery was seen in his livestreamed footage.

Pezzullo said the Home Affairs Department stood resolutely against white supremacy and he addressed its adherents in saying," The scrutiny and pressure that you are under will only intensify.’"

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1:31 p.m.

People across New Zealand are observing the Muslim call to prayer as the nation reflects on the moment one week ago when 50 people were slaughtered at two mosques.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and thousands of others congregated in leafy Hagley Park opposite the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch to observe the call to prayer early Friday afternoon.

Thousands more were listening in on the radio or watching on television as the event was broadcast live. The prayer was followed by two minutes of silence.

The observance comes the day after the government announced a ban on "military-style" semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines like the weapons that were used in last Friday’s attacks.

Source: Fox News World

People across New Zealand are observing the Muslim call to prayer as the nation reflects on the moment one week ago when 50 people were slaughtered at two mosques.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and thousands of others congregated in leafy Hagley Park opposite the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch to observe the call to prayer early Friday afternoon.

Thousands more were listening in on the radio or watching on television as the event was broadcast live. The prayer was followed by two minutes of silence.

The observance comes the day after the government announced a ban on "military-style" semi-automatic firearms and high-capacity magazines like the weapons that were used in last Friday’s attacks.

Source: Fox News World

The Latest on the mosque attacks in New Zealand (all times local):

3 p.m.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand is immediately banning assault rifles, high-capacity magazines and "military style semi-automatic rifles" like the weapons used in last Friday’s attacks on two Christchurch mosques.

Ardern announced the ban Thursday and said it would be followed by legislation to be introduced next month.

She said the man arrested in the attacks had purchased his weapons legally and enhanced their capacity by using 30-round magazines "done easily through a simple online purchase."

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11:30 a.m.

An imam says he’s expecting thousands of people at an emotional Friday prayer service a week after an attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Six more funerals were being held Thursday for the 50 people killed last Friday.

Iman Gamal Fouda says he’s been discussing plans for the prayer service with city officials and lawmakers and expects it will take place in a park across from Al Noor mosque, where at least 42 were killed.

Fouda expects 3,000 to 4,000 people, including many from abroad. He said members of the Linwood mosque, where the gunman killed seven people, also would attend the joint prayer.

He says mosque workers have been feverishly working to repair the destruction from the attack. They will bury the blood-soaked carpet.

Source: Fox News World

The Latest on the mosque attacks in New Zealand (all times local):

7:30 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the gunman who killed 50 people at two New Zealand mosques is no different from the militants of the Islamic State group.

In an opinion piece published in The Washington Post on Wednesday, Erdogan also called on Western leaders to learn from "the courage, leadership and sincerity" of New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and "embrace Muslims living in their respective countries."

The opinion piece’s headline read: "The New Zealand killer and the Islamic State are cut from the same cloth."

Erdogan said the West "must reject the normalization of racism, xenophobia and Islamophobia."

Separately, the Turkish president has been criticized for showing excerpts from video of the mosque attacks and for comments about the Gallipoli campaign in World War I.

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6 p.m.

A father and son who fled the civil war in Syria for "the safest country in the world" have been buried before hundreds of mourners, the first funerals for victims of shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that horrified a nation known for being welcoming and diverse.

The funerals Wednesday of 44-year-old Khalid Mustafa and 15-year-old Hamza Mustafa came five days after a white supremacist methodically gunned down 50 worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch — a massacre that he broadcast live on Facebook.

Hamza’s high school principal described the student as compassionate and hardworking, and said he was an excellent horse rider who aspired to be a veterinarian.

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5:25 p.m.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says he believes police officers stopped the gunman who killed 50 people at two mosques on his way to another attack.

Bush says they believe they know where the gunman was going but won’t say more because it’s an active investigation.

In a 74-page manifesto he released before the attack, accused Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant said he was going to attack mosques in Christchurch and Linwood, and then one in the town of Ashburton if he made it that far.

Bush also revised his timeline, saying officers rammed the suspect off the road and arrested him 21 minutes after the first emergency call rather than 36 minutes.

Bush says FBI agents have traveled to New Zealand to help with the investigation.

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4 p.m.

Australia’s prime minister says he has asked the Turkish president to withdraw his accusation of an anti-Islam motive behind Australia and New Zealand sending troops to Turkey in the World War I Gallipoli campaign.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was denouncing Islamophobia after an Australian was arrested in the killings of 50 worshippers in two mosques in New Zealand.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said "all options are on the table" if Erdogan does not withdraw his comments.

Turkish ambassador Korhan Karakoc said he had a "frank" conversation with Morrison when the envoy was summoned to Parliament House on Wednesday.

Thousands of Australian and New Zealand citizens gather at the Gallipoli peninsula on April 25 each year to commemorate the start of the failed British-led campaign in 1915 to open a new front in the war against Germany.

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3:10 p.m.

A man accused of sharing video of a massacre in New Zealand has been jailed by a judge until his next court appearance in mid-April.

Philip Arps, 44, appeared in a Christchurch court Wednesday on two charges of distributing the killer’s livestream video of last week’s attack on Al Noor mosque, a violation of the country’s objectionable publications law. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of 14 years in prison.

Arps, heavily tattooed and dressed in a T-shirt and sweatpants, hasn’t entered a plea. He remained expressionless during the hearing, his hands clasped behind his back.

Judge Stephen O’Driscoll denied him bail.

Charging documents accuse Arps of distributing the video on Saturday, one day after the massacre.

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1:15 p.m.

The first two people to be buried after last week’s mosque attacks that killed 50 people are a father and his son.

Khalid Mustafa was 44 and Hamza Mustafa was 15. The teen was a student at Cashmere High School and was compassionate and hard-working, according to the principal Mark Wilson.

Hamza was an excellent horse rider who aspired to be a veterinarian, Wilson says.

Hamza’s younger brother Zaed, 13, suffered gunshot wounds to the leg in the attack.

Mourners on Wednesday carried the bodies to a freshly dug gravesite, where hundreds gathered around to watch. Some were invited to scoop handfuls of dirt on top of the bodies.

Authorities spent four days constructing a special grave at a city cemetery that is designated for Muslim burials.

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12:35 p.m.

The first funeral for two of 50 victims of last week’s shootings at two mosques in New Zealand has begun.

Hundreds of people are at the services in Christchurch.

The identity of the victims was not immediately known. Authorities spent four days constructing a special grave at a city cemetery that is designated for the Muslim burials.

An Australian white supremacist killed 50 worshippers in two mosques last Friday.

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11:50 a.m.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will protest to the Turkish ambassador on Wednesday against the Turkish president’s accusation of an anti-Islam motive behind Australia and New Zealand sending troops to Turkey in the World War I Gallipoli campaign.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was denouncing Islamophobia after an Australian white supremacist killed 50 worshippers in two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Morrison said the comments were not helpful.

Thousands of Australian and New Zealand citizens gather at the Gallipoli peninsula on April 25 each year to commemorate the start of the failed British-led campaign in 1915 to open a new front in the war against Germany.

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11:30 a.m.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has visited a school where two boys killed in last week’s mosque attacks were students.

In a speech at Cashmere High School, Ardern renewed her call for people to focus on the victims rather than the perpetrator.

She says there will be interest in the terrorist but asked the students not to say his name or dwell on him.

The Cashmere High students killed were 14-year-old Sayyad Milne and 15-year-old Hamza Mustafa. A third Cashmere student, Mustafa’s 13-year-old brother Zaed, is recovering from gunshot wounds to his leg.

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10:45 a.m. Wednesday

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says police have now formally identified and released the bodies of 21 people out of the 50 who were killed in last week’s mosque attacks.

Bush said that releasing the bodies was a priority for family reasons, compassionate reasons and cultural reasons.

Islamic law says that people should be buried as soon as possible after death, preferably within 24 hours.

Bush’s comments came after it was announced that the first two burials of the victims are scheduled to take place Wednesday morning.

He says they hope to finish formally identifying most victims by the end of the day although some will take longer.

Source: Fox News World


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