N Zealand mosque killings spark global horror
PARIS, Mar 15: Attacks on two mosques in New Zealand which left at least 49 people dead on Friday -- the Muslim day of prayer -- have sparked horror, revulsion and dismay around the world.
"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, describing the attacks in the city of Christchurch as "one of New Zealand's darkest days."
"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!" Trump wrote on Twitter.
"We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate," said his spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
"With this attack, hostility towards Islam 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... I am calling on the world, in particular the West, to take quick measures," he said.
"Murder of people at prayer, in their most holy and sacred place, is a depraved and despicable act. For people of all religions and of none, a red line has been crossed," Israeli President Reuven Rivlin wrote on his official Twitter feed.
Official Palestinian news agency WAFA quoted Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas as describing the shootings as a "horrific and heinous criminal act".
Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg urged the international community to combat all forms of extremism after the Christchurch attacks, which revived painful memories of the 2011 mass killings in Norway by rightwing extremist Anders Behring Breivik.
Italy's far-right Interior Minister Matteo Salvini voiced his "absolute condemnation" of the New Zealand killings, in a statement.
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."
Queen Elizabeth II, New Zealand's head of state, said she and her husband Prince Philip sent condolences to the families and friends of those who lost their lives and paid tribute to emergency workers and volunteers providing support to the injured.
"I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch... At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders."
London's police service said it was "stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faith, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves."
In Australia, police in New South Wales said there were increasing patrols around mosques as a precaution. "There is no ongoing or specific threat to any mosque or place of worship," police said.
Pope Francis assured "all New Zealanders, and in particular the Muslim community, of his heartfelt solidarity," the Vatican said.
The pope was "deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence," Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said in a telegram.
"Japan firmly condemns the atrocious shooting carried out in Christchurch," said Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe in a statement, expressing Japan's "sincere solidarity with the people of New Zealand". Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he hoped New Zealand "will arrest these terrorists and do the necessary under the law of the country." -AFP