Trudeau Issues Statement on New Zealand Mosque Attack

Trudeau offers statement after terrorist attack in Christchurch New Zealand Image Credit: Euronews

By: Laura Steiner

49 people are dead, and approximately 20 wounded after gunmen opened fire on two mosques in Christchurch New Zealand.  The incident happened as Muslims gathered for Friday afternoon prayers. The gunman, described as a white man  in his late 20’s live-streamed the incidents on Facebook via a camera in his helmet.  New Zealand issued a statement asking social media users not to share the video.

According to reports, the first incident began at Al Noor mosque located in central Christchurch.  Witnesses reported seeing people bleeding on the ground outside.  The second incident took place approximately 10 minutes away in a suburb.   Police also defused several IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) attached to cars. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern tweeted a statement calling it an unprecedented act of violence.

 

Canadian leaders have also issued statements.   Prime Minister Justin Trudeau issued a formal statement pledging support for New Zealand.  “Canada condemns this attack, and will continue to work closely with New Zealand, our close partner, and friend, and others to take action against violent extremism.”   Public Safety, and Emergency Preparedness Minister Ralph Goodale has said Canada’s threat level remains at medium.  “There is no known nexus to Canada”, he said of the incident.  New Zealand is one of Canada’s partners in the Five Eyes’ Intelligence community.

Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer added his voice, offering support for the Muslim community in a Facebook Post.  “To the Muslim community around the world, and here at home in Canada, we stand with you, and reaffirm our commitment to building a better world where every people, of every faith, can live in freedom and peace together,” he said. Milton MP Lisa Raitt extended her condolences on Twitter. “I  wish peace upon those in the Muslim community affected by this horrific tragedy.  We should never be fearful of worshipping,”  she said.  NDP Leader Jagmeet Singh issued his statement calling it an act of terror.  “Islamophobia kills- and has no place anywhere in the world” he said.

 

Halton Regional Police Service (HRPS) reacted as well calling the incident unimaginable.

 

According to media reports, the gunman  holds Australian citizenship   He is set to appear in court Saturday morning local time on a charge of murder.   New Zealand police have two other suspects in custody.

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