A woman reacts as she pays a tribute to victims of the mosque attacks outside Masjid Al Noor in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 16, 2019. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
CAIRO- 16 March 2019: Egypt announced four nationals are among the victims of the deadly mass shootings at two mosques in that claimed lives of 49 people and injured 20 others in New Zealand, raising the number of Arab victims to 11 people.
New Zealand’s authorities notified the Egyptian embassy that four Egyptian expatriates were killed in the shootings, Egyptian ambassador Tareq al-Wiseimy told the Egyptian Ministry of Migration on Saturday.
The dead bodies of the Egyptian nationals will be sent back home on Tuesday, he added, noting that embassy had contacted the victims’ relatives.
The Egyptian victims include Munir Suleiman (68 years), Ahmed Hamal al-Din Abdul Ghani (68 years), Ashraf Morsi, and Ashraf Al-Masri, according to a statement from the Ministry of Migration on Saturday.
“Nationalities of some injured people have not identified yet as the New Zealand authorities cares firstly about their health,” the ambassador was quoted as saying by the statement.
During Friday prayer, a video broadcast of the shooting went viral on social media platforms, showing a gunman, who was later identified as Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant (28), opening fire randomly at worshippers inside Al Noor Mosque in the city of Christchurch, killing dozens; and then he went to another mosque to kill more Muslim worshippers. The shooter strapped a GoPro camera to his head and broadcast his massacre live on his twitter account, which is now suspended.
Jordanian Foreign Ministry announced that death toll of the Jordanian people killed in attack rose to four nationals, while Saudi Arabia announced that British-Saudi citizen was killed by the shooter.
Palestinian ambassador to New Zealand Ezzat Abdel-Hadi announced the killing of a Palestinian citizen and the injury of others. A Syrian refugee, called Kahled al-Hag Mustafa, was killed inside the mosque while his two children were injured.
Earlier, President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi strongly condemned the attack, saying that this ‘brutal attack which targeted worshipers’, puts responsibility on all international community to counter terrorism and exert more efforts to confront terrorism and violence decisively.
Egypt’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs also expressed its sincere condolences to the families of the victims, affirming that this terrorist attack extremely against all of the humanity principles.
Egypt’s religious institutions - Al Azhar and the Coptic Church in New Zealand - condemned the deadly attack.
“The attack is a dangerous indication to the serious repercussions of escalating hared speech and xenophobia and the increasing Islamo-phobia in several countries,” Al Azahr said in a statement on Friday.
Egypt's Council of Church also extended condolences for the loss of the victims, saying such act does not relate to any religion.