At least 49 people were killed and dozens more were injured when a gunman attacked two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand. The victims of the extremist right-wing terror attack include men, women and children. The victims are from around the world, including some refugees who fled violence to find a new home in New Zealand.
The 28-year-old gunmnan, a native of Australia, was arrested after the shootings and is facing murder charges. He posted an anti-Muslim and anti-immigrant manifesto espousing hateful white supremacist beliefs on social media prior to the attacks and then live-streamed part of the shooting on Facebook. The investigation into the shooting is ongoing.
You can find a full list of the victims who have been identified so far, below.
The March 15 shootings occurred at the Masjid al Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, a city of about 374,000 people located on the east coast of New Zealand’s south island.
Among the dead are heroes, who tried to stop the shooter by rushing at him or died shielding other worshippers in the crowded mosques. Daoud Nabi threw himself in front of another worshipper who had been shot in order to save the other person’s life, his son says. Nabi died at the scene. Naeem Rashid rushed at the gunman and tried to stop him. His act of bravery was captured on the shooter’s video camera. He was shot multiple times and was killed. His son, Talha, also died in the shooting.
Nabi, was 71. Another victim, Abdullahi Dirie, was 4. He was at the mosque with his father and four siblings. His family members survived, but he died at a hospital, his uncle told The Washington Post.
“This is a time of distress, we are in disarray, we don’t know why this has happened,” Asim Mukhtar, secretary general of the Pakistan Association of New Zealand told The Post. “This is probably the last thing on our mind living in New Zealand that this will ever happen.” He said there were at least two members of the country’s Pakistani community in the mosque. Mukhtar said the Al Noor mosque is the largest in Christchurch and the shooting happened 15 minutes before prayer began, while many people were still parking or walking into the building. He said if the shooting happened mid-prayer, the tragic death toll may have been higher.
“We are really not feeling safe at the moment,” he said. Some of the victims were Syrian refugees, a group called Syrian Solidarity New Zealand, told The Post. Ali Akil, a spokesman for the group, said they fled the civil war in their home country for “a safe haven, only to be killed here.”
Yasmin Ali told New Zealand’s News 1 that she lost a close friend and now fears being targeted for wearing a headscarf in public. “Family friends that we’ve known for 19 years — dead. People who were there for my engagement — dead,” she told the news station. “You don’t …read more