ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – The governments in Erbil and Baghdad on Friday added their voices to the worldwide condemnation of mass shootings earlier that day that resulted in the deaths of at least 49 people attending mosques in the city of Christchurch, New Zealand.
The attackers targeted two mosques while worshipers were participating in Friday prayers, killing 49 and seriously injured 20 others, in what was reported as a planned and coordinated act of violence.
In one of the mosques, a suspected gunman is said to have broadcasted himself live online as he butchered defenseless people.
An as-of-yet unspecified number of suspects have been taken into custody. The Facebook account purported to have belonged to one of the attackers contains an 87-page manifesto in which anti-Muslim sentiments are expressed.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardenne described the bloody incident as a terrorist act, stating, ”Many of those who will have been directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home.”
”They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not,” she continued. ”They have no place in New Zealand. There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence, which it is clear this act was.”
”Many of those affected by this shooting, may be migrants to New Zealand, they may be even refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this act of extreme and unprecedented violence has no place in New Zealand.“
The perpetrators of the attack have received widespread global condemnation and many world leaders and individuals have expressed their condolences to the victims' families.
“The Kurdistan Regional Government strongly condemns this brutal terrorist attack… on two mosques in New Zealand,” said spokesperson Safin Dizayee in a statement.
The Iraqi Foreign Ministry said in a message posted on its website that the government's leadership “condemns this crime with the strongest condemnation and… stands alongside the New Zealand people.”
The Turkish pro-minority Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) also condemned what they said was a “racist attack” on the Muslim community of the city, adding that the incident is “another sign of the clear and present danger posed by racism and hate speech to the world today.”
We strongly condemn the racist attack targeting two mosques in Christchurch, #NewZealand, a city with a strong Muslim population. This attack is another sign of the clear and present danger posed by racism and hate speech to the world today.https://t.co/VsVNdq5W2j— HDP English (@HDPenglish) March 15, 2019
Editing by John J. Catherine