Start News New Zealand commemorates the victims today

New Zealand commemorates the victims today

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People from all over New Zealand have thought of the victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and thousands of others gathered at Hagley Park for Friday prayers in the early afternoon. The park faces the Al Noor mosque, which was the first to be attacked.

The prayer was followed by two minutes of silence. In many parts of the country, life was shut down from 13.32 to 13.34 local time (1.32 to 1.34).

Mourning ceremony live on TV and radio
Many New Zealanders wore a headscarf on Friday as a sign of solidarity with the Muslim communities. There were chains of people around different mosques. The funeral ceremony in front of the Al Noor Mosque, which began with the call of a Muslim cleric to prayer, was broadcast live on radio and television.

Ardern said to the Muslims: „New Zealand mourns with you, we are one“. The Islamic clergyman Gamal Fouda thanked the head of government with the words: „Thank you for your words and for your tears, thank you for honoring us with a simple cloth“.

Hundreds of police secure funeral service
To protect the mourners, the police in Christchurch with hundreds of heavily armed officials was in action.

There will also be a national funeral service in the coming week. On Thursday, the government of the Pacific State announced that semi-automatic weapons – as used by the perpetrator – are now prohibited. Of the almost five million inhabitants of the Pacific, about 50,000 are Muslims.

One week ago on Friday, one assassin attacked two mosques and killed at least 50 people. A 28-year-old legal extract from Australia is in custody.