Wednesday 23 October 2019

Foreigners among those targeted in New Zealand mosque attack

A man places flowers at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, (Mark Baker/AP)
A man places flowers at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, (Mark Baker/AP)
Police stand by makeshift memorial near the Linwood Mosque in Christchurch (Mark Baker/AP)
Christchurch mosque shootings graphic
Names written on ammunition seen in a photo posted on Twitter by the gunman. Photo: Twitter/via Reuters
Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Mark Baker/AP
A police officer patrols at a cordon near a mosque in central Christchurch (Mark Baker/AP)
Aftermath: Armed police patrol outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand. Photo: Mark Baker/AP
A distraught survivor reacts as he speaks on a mobile phone near the mosque in central Christchurch. Photo: Mark Baker/AP Photo Newsdesk Newsdesk

Several of those killed or wounded in the shooting rampage at two New Zealand mosques on Friday were from the Middle East or South Asia, according to initial reports from several governments.

The live-streamed attack killed at least 49 people as they gathered for weekly prayers in Christchurch. Another 48 people suffered gunshot wounds in the attacks.

Bangladesh's honorary consul in Auckland, Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, said that "so far" three Bangladeshis were among those killed and four or five others were wounded, including two left in a critical condition.

"One leg of an injured needed to be amputated while another suffered bullet injuries in his chest," Mr Rahman Bhuiyan said. He declined to identify the dead or wounded.

The number of Jordanians killed in the New Zealand mosque shootings has risen to three after a wounded man died of his injuries.

Jordan's Foreign Ministry announced the death on Saturday. The ministry said a Jordanian diplomat is on his way to New Zealand to coordinate with local authorities.

In the immediate aftermath of Friday's attack on two Christchurch mosques, the Foreign Ministry had announced that two Jordanians were among the 49 people killed, and that eight Jordanians had been wounded.

Christchurch Hospital chief Greg Robertson said on Saturday that seven of the 48 gunshot victims admitted after the shootings had been discharged.

Mr Robertson said a four-year-old girl who had been transferred to an Auckland hospital was in critical condition and 11 patients who remained in Christchurch were also critically wounded.

"We have had patients with injuries to most parts of the body that range from relatively superficial soft tissue injuries to more complex injuries involving the chest, the abdomen, the pelvis, the long bones and the head," he said.

Many patients will require multiple operations to deal with their complex series of injuries, he added.

He said a two-year-old boy was in stable condition, as was a 13-year-old boy.

Mohammed Elyan, a Jordanian in his 60s who co-founded one of the mosques in 1993, was among those wounded, as was his son, Atta, who is in his 30s, according to Muath Elyan, Mohammed's brother, who said he spoke to Mohammed's wife after the shooting.

He said his brother helped establish the mosque a year after arriving in New Zealand, where he teaches engineering at a university and runs a consultancy. He said his brother last visited Jordan two years ago.

"He used to tell us life was good in New Zealand and its people are good and welcoming. He enjoyed freedom there and never complained about anything," he added. "I'm sure this bloody crime doesn't represent the New Zealanders."

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said four Pakistanis were wounded, and Ministry spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted that five other Pakistani citizens were missing after Friday's attacks.

Malaysia said two of its citizens were hospitalised, and the Saudi Embassy in Wellington said two Saudis were wounded.

India's high commissioner to New Zealand, Sanjiv Kohli, tweeted on Saturday that nine Indians were missing and called the attack a "huge crime against humanity". Indian officials have not said whether the nine were believed to be living in Christchurch.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said at least three Turkish citizens were wounded in the attacks in New Zealand and that he had spoken to one of them.

Afghanistan's ambassador to Australia and New Zealand said two Afghans were missing and a third person of Afghan origin was treated and released from the hospital.

Two Indonesians, a father and son, were also among those shot and wounded, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said.

Mr Nasir said the father was being treated at an intensive care unit and his son was in another ward at the same hospital. He declined to identify them.

PA Media

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