/Burials begin for New Zealand mosque shooting victims

Burials begin for New Zealand mosque shooting victims

CHRISTCHURCH (Reuters) – The our bodies of two victims from New Zealand’s mosques mass shooting have been carried in open caskets on the shoulders of mourners into a big tent at Christchurch’s Memorial Park Cemetery on Wednesday – the primary burials of the 50 victims.

Wrapped in white fabric the our bodies, a father and son, have been laid to face Mecca, and after jenazah (funeral) prays, have been carried towards their freshly dug graves.

Several mounds of dust piled excessive marked the positioning of a number of graves which can be used for New Zealand’s worst mass shooting.

Hundreds gathered to mourn, some males carrying a taqiyah (skullcap), others shalwar kameez (lengthy tunic and trousers), whereas girls wore hajibs and scarfs.

“Seeing the body lowered down, it was a very emotional time for me,” mentioned Gulshad Ali, who had traveled from Auckland to attend the funeral.

An space was arrange for mourners to scrub their fingers forward of the service, as is the custom in Islam. Heavily armed police stood watch with flowers tucked of their revolver holsters and hooked up to their excessive powered rifles.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist who was dwelling in Dunedin, on New Zealand’s South Island, has been charged with homicide following the assault on two mosques final Friday.

He was remanded with out a plea and is due again in court docket on April 5, when police mentioned he was more likely to face extra expenses.

New Zealand’s police chief mentioned international intelligence businesses, together with the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation and people from Australia, Canada and Britain, have been increase a profile of the alleged shooter.

“I can assure you this is an absolute international investigation,” Police Commissioner Mike Bush mentioned at a media briefing within the capital Wellington.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has mentioned the suspect within the shooting had traveled world wide and was not a long-term resident.

Relatives and different folks arrive to attend the burial ceremony of the victims of the mosque assaults, on the Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch, New Zealand March 20, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

As of Tuesday evening 21 victims had been recognized, mentioned police and their our bodies could be launched for burial. Final identifications ought to be accomplished by Wednesday evening.

Families of the victims have been pissed off by the delay as underneath Islam our bodies are normally buried inside 24 hours.

Bush mentioned police needed to show the reason for dying to the satisfaction of the coroner and the choose dealing with the case.

“You cannot convict for murder without that cause of death. So this is a very comprehensive process that must be completed to the highest standard,” he mentioned.

Twenty 9 folks wounded within the assaults remained in hospital, eight nonetheless in intensive care.

Many have needed to endure a number of surgical procedures as a consequence of sophisticated gunshot wounds. The gunman used semi-automatic AR-15 rifles, with massive magazines, and a shotgun.


Ardern, who has promised powerful new gun legal guidelines which may ban semi-automatic weapons and make shopping for a gun tougher, has mentioned the victims would see justice.

She has refused to say alleged gunman Tarrant’s identify, saying he doesn’t deserve publicity.

The Cashmere High School in Christchurch misplaced two college students within the assault, youngsters Sayyad Milne and Hamza Mustafa, Hamza’s father Khaled, and a former pupil Tariq Omar.

About 200 kids gathered on the faculty auditorium on Wednesday and listened to Ardern who spoke to them about racism and adjustments in gun legal guidelines. She mentioned: “Never mention the perpetrator’s name … never remember him for what he did.”

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The college students carried out an emotionally-charged haka, a ceremonial warfare dance, for Ardern.

As she was leaving, a little bit lady ran as much as Ardern and hugged her. The prime minister hugged her again.

“The impact of this terror attack has been particularly cruel and tough for our school community,” the college Principal Mark Wilson mentioned in a press release late on Tuesday.

Additional reporting by Tom Westbrook and Edgar Sue in CHRISTCHURCH, Praveen Menon in WELLINGTON; Editing by Michael Perry

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