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Tuesday 23 April 2019

Burials to get under way for two victims of Christchurch mosque atrocity

A special grave has been built at a city cemetery designated for Muslim burials.

Al Noor mosque is shaded by clouds in Christchurch, New Zealand (Vincent Thian/AP)
Al Noor mosque is shaded by clouds in Christchurch, New Zealand (Vincent Thian/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

The first two burials of the victims from last week’s mosque shootings in New Zealand are scheduled to take place on Wednesday morning.

Christchurch City Council spokeswoman Jocelyn Ritchie says the Muslim burial ceremony for the two of the 50 people killed will take place at 11.30am.

She said she did not know the identities of the two bodies to be buried first.

Authorities spent four days constructing a special grave at a city cemetery that is designated for Muslim burials.

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Muslims offer prayer near the main road to the Al Noor mosque (VIncent Thian/AP)

It is uncertain how many of the victims will be buried there.

Officials have received some requests to send bodies to the native countries of those killed.

The alleged Australian gunman who opened fire inside the mosques last week was a self-proclaimed racist.

About 60 men in Muslim attire held meetings at the grave site ahead of the burials to survey the area.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police have now formally identified and released the bodies of 21 people out of the 50 who were killed in last week’s mosque attacks.

Mr Bush said that releasing the bodies was a priority for family reasons, compassionate reasons and cultural reasons.

Islamic law says that people should be buried as soon as possible after death, preferably within 24 hours.

Press Association

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