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Maldives condemns terrorist attacks on Christchurch mosques

Mariyam Malsa
15 March 2019, MVT 14:52
Mariyam Malsa
15 March 2019, MVT 14:52

Minister of Foreign Affairs Abdulla Shahid, on Friday, condemned the terrorist attacks that took place in two mosques at Christchurch, New Zealand, killing 49 people and injuring many others.

A considerable number of Maldivians are known to reside in the city of Christchurch and frequent the two mosques that were targeted.

In a second tweet, the Foreign Minister expressed his gratitude that none of those reported injured or as fatalities were identified to be Maldivian.

According to a statement given by local police to AFP, forty-one of those slain were at the Masjid al Noor in central Christchurch. Seven more were killed at the Linwood Ave mosque, which is located five kilometres away.

An eyewitness told Radio New Zealand that he heard shots fired and four people were lying on the ground, with "blood everywhere".

While it is not clear if the same gunman was involved at both sites, New Zealand's police have arrested four individuals in relation to the attacks.

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, saying it marked "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

The gunman at one mosque was an Australian-born citizen, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in Sydney, describing him as "an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist".

Unconfirmed video and documents circulating online suggested the shooter had streamed his attack on Facebook Live.

New Zealand police described it as "extremely distressing" and urged web users not to share the images.

Police have warned Muslims all over the country not to visit mosques "anywhere in New Zealand".