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World leaders react to New Zealand mosques' deadly mass shootings

Friday 15/March/2019 - 03:22 PM
The Reference

The world's heads of state and government condemned the terrorist attack that targeted two mosques in New Zealand's city of Christchurch, leaving 49 people dead and scores others injured.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has sent a message to New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, offering condolences over the deadly terrorist attack in the city of Christchurch, where shooters targeted worshipers at two mosques, the Kremlin press service said.

"It was brutal and cynical attack on civilians who had gathered for prayers," TASS news agency reported, citing the message.

"I expect that all those involved in this crime will receive the punishment they deserve," Putin added.

Meanwhile, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he was "shocked" by the attack.

"This reaffirms what we have always maintained: That terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families," he said on his official Twitter account.

The Indonesian foreign minister was quoted by media as saying six Indonesians had been inside the mosque when the attack occurred, with three managing to escape and three unaccounted for.

British Prime Minister Theresa May expressed her grief after one or more white supremacists stormed mosques in New Zealand to murder dozens of Muslims during Friday prayers, the Daily Mail reported.

The horrifying attacks in Christchurch have taken the lives of 49 people causing grief and consternation across the world.

Theresa May led the messages of condolence from Britain with the Queen expected to respond later.

Meanwhile, European Council President Donald Tusk described the attack as 'harrowing news' and said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern can 'count on our solidarity'.

He tweeted: 'Harrowing news from New Zealand overnight.

British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt said: 'Our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand following the news of this terrible act in Christchurch.

'NZ is one of the most peaceful, peace-loving and generous nations in the world.

'Your friends in the UK stand with you today in deepest sympathy.'

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"

Queen Elizabeth II said that she was "deeply saddened" by the attacks on two mosques on Friday in New Zealand that which left 49 persons dead, Sky News reported.

In a statement, Queen Elizabeth said "I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch."

She added "Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives."

She went on to say "I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured. At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders.

French President Emmanuel Macron echoed German Chancellor Angela Merkel's message, condemning an "odious attack" and saying France "stands against any form of extremism", France 24 reported.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen also tweeted her condolences.

Tsai said: "I'm utterly saddened by the mass shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. My thoughts go to the victims and their families."

Sweden's Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom has 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."

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker denounced the "senseless act of brutality," Euronews reported Friday.

In a statement, Juncker said "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."

President of the European Council Donald Tusk commented the attacks, saying "Harrowing news from New Zealand overnight. The brutal attack in Christchurch will never diminish the tolerance and decency that New Zealand is famous for. Our thoughts in Europe are with the victims and their families.

US President Donald Trump is expressing "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to the people of New Zealand after "the horrible massacre in the Mosques," ABC News reported.

Trump tweeted Friday as the White House issued a statement condemning the attacks at two mosques in the city of Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders described the attack as a "vicious act of hate." She says the US stands in "solidarity" with the people of New Zealand.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has sent a telegram to the prime minister of New Zealand, expressing her condolences after the attack on two mosques in Christchurch.

"It is a perfidious attack on worshipers and their houses of prayer," Merkel said Friday. "The attack on Muslim citizens is also an attack on New Zealand's democracy and its open and tolerant society. We share these values and thus also the horror of the New Zealanders."

Merkel says she sends her condolences to the relatives of the victims and is wishing the wounded speedy recoveries.