New Zealand mosque killings spark global horror

15 March 2019 - 11:53 By AFP
An image grab from TV New Zealand taken on March 15, 2019 shows a victim arriving at a hospital following the mosque shooting in Christchurch. At least one gunman who targeted crowded mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch killed a number of people, police said, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern describing the shooting as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".
An image grab from TV New Zealand taken on March 15, 2019 shows a victim arriving at a hospital following the mosque shooting in Christchurch. At least one gunman who targeted crowded mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch killed a number of people, police said, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern describing the shooting as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".
Image: TV New Zealand / AFP

Attacks on two mosques in New Zealand which left at least 49 people dead on Friday have sparked horror, revulsion and dismay around the world.

One of the gunmen - believed to be an Australian extremist -- apparently livestreamed the deadly assault.

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

Here is a summary of the main international reactions so far.

Muslims face 'mass killing'  

"With this attack, hostility towards Muslims that the world has been 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."

Cruel, cynical attack 

"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.

'Harrowing news'  

"Harrowing news from New Zealand overnight" said EU Council president Donald Tusk. "The brutal attack... will never diminish the tolerance and decency that New Zealand is famous for."

'Sickening act of violence' 

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."

Brutal crimes 

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said his country was "profoundly affected by the brutal crimes in Christchurch".

'Fanatics want to destroy society'  

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".

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