Leaders condemn NZ mosque shooting

Members of a family react outside the mosque following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019. REUTERS/SNPA/Martin Hunter

PRIME Minister Voreqe Bainimarama has condemned all forms of hatred and terror and says that the Fijian people stand with our Pacific family during this very difficult time of suffering and sadness.

His comment comes after two deadly shooting in two mosques at Christchurch, New Zealand yesterday, claiming 49 people and wounding others.

In a post on his official Facebook account last night, Mr Bainimarama said Fijian hearts were breaking for their brothers and sisters in New Zealand; a place he said where an atrocity of such nature was shocking and almost beyond comprehension.

“Across all religions, our houses of worship are a source of refuge, of prayer and of love; to see such a heinous and hate-filled act occur in what should be places of peace is the darkest of evils,” he said.

Mr Bainimarama said Fiji would work closely with authorities in New Zealand to monitor the welfare of Fijians in Christchurch and would provide updates when available.

Opposition Leader Sitiveni Rabuka said yesterday’s attack was a sad day not only for New Zealand, but all its close allies.

“This is a cowardly attack on freedom and tolerance, and must be condemned in the strongest terms.

“Our nations must work together and do all we can to prevent future attacks and to keep our people safe. The people of Fiji stand wholeheartedly with the people of New Zealand, in solidarity against these cowardly attacks. Fiji Labour Party leader Mahendra Chaudhry said such actions should never be condoned.

“To attack innocent people particularly when they are at prayers, is simply barbaric and we denounce it in the strongest terms possible.”

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