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‘We stand in solidarity with New Zealand at this tragic moment’

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Residents pay their respects by placing flowers for the victims of the twin mosque attacks in Christchurch on Saturday. Glenda KWEK/AFP

‘We stand in solidarity with New Zealand at this tragic moment’

A statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation expressed shock and sadness at news of the fatal shootings at Al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday.

“We express our most profound sympathy and condolences to the victims and their beloved ones,” the statement read.

“We stand in solidarity with the government and people of New Zealand at this tragic moment to give utmost assurance for [the] safety of innocent people, both New Zealanders and members of the Cambodian community across New Zealand.”

The ministry also expressed its commitment to fight terrorism “in all its forms and manifestations”.

As of Sunday, the death toll for the attacks had risen to 50, including several children, in what New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described as the country’s “darkest day”.

On Saturday, Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, was charged with murder for carrying out the Friday’s twin mosque assault, an attack he live-streamed on Facebook.

Tarrant, described by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison as an “extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”, will re-appear in court on April 5.

Police said the suspect is believed to have acted alone.

Ardern labelled the incident a “terrorist attack” that threatened New Zealand’s security.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, she expected the bodies of all those killed to be returned to their families by Wednesday.

The return of the bodies has proved a controversial topic, as Islamic custom stipulates that a body must be buried within 24 hours of death.

Those in attendance at the mosques at the time of the attack hailed from all around the globe, and included citizens of Asean nations.

Two Malaysians who were wounded, one of whom – 39-year-old milk factory worker Rahimi Ahmad, who was shot twice at the Al-Noor mosque – showed positive signs on Sunday and will undergo follow-up surgery on Monday, according to the country’s state news agency Bernama.

Indonesia’s Foreign Affairs Ministry on Saturday confirmed that a 50-year-old Air New Zealand engineer, Lilik Abdul Hamid, died during the attack.

Two more Indonesians remain hospitalised, the Jakarta Post reported.


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