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Palestinians killed, wounded in New Zealand terror attack

March 15, 2019 at 3:27 pm

Ambulances arrive at the scene of a terror attack in New Zealand when a gunmen fired at worshippers during Friday prayer on 15 March 2019 [Twitter]

At least one Palestinian was among the 49 victims of the New Zealand terror attack earlier today, Palestinian officials have confirmed, as the world reels from the deadliest attack in the country’s history.

Mosques across the West Bank and Gaza Strip remembered those targeted in the mass shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch, holding absentee funeral prayers in their memory.

The Palestinian Authority Ambassador to Australia and New Zealand Izzat Abdel Hadi earlier this morning announced that based on preliminary information, at least one Palestinian was killed in the attack, and six of those injured were also of Palestinian descent.

They include Shehada Sinawi, Wasim Abdulrazaq and his son and Mohammed Eliyan and his son.

Gaza Strip authority Hamas also condemned the terrorist attack, and called on the New Zealand government to ensure justice prevailed.

Jordan’s Foreign Ministry also confirmed that one Jordanian was killed and five were wounded in the attack, with King Abdullah II tweeting that “the heinous massacre against Muslims praying in peace in New Zealand is an appalling terrorist crime. It unites us against extremism, hatred and terrorism, which knows no religion.”

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One of the shooters targeted the city’s biggest mosques, Al-Nour, during Friday prayers. Some 200 people were estimated to be in the building at the time of the incident, resulting in the deaths of some 41 people. Eight others died at a second location, and one victim died in hospital from his injuries.

Scores of worshippers with gunshot wounds are still being treated at medical facilities around Christchurch; patients range from young children to adults and their injuries range from critical to minor. Some need multiple surgeries and several have been taken to other health facilities around the country.

Four people, including one woman, have been arrested by New Zealand authorities; the primary shooter Brenton Tarrant broadcast the attack at Al-Nour Mosque live on social media, and posted a link to an 87-page manifesto that was filled with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim ideas and explanations for an attack. He is expected to appear in court tomorrow.

Mosques around the world have increased security in the aftermath of the attack, fearing that the incident could inspire other far-right extremists.

The attack has also been condemned by world leaders. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said it was the “latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia”.

READ: Video released of Israeli soldiers beating Palestinians in custody