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Thousands attend Muslim prayers for shooting victims in New Zealand

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:59s - Published < > Embed
Thousands attend Muslim prayers for shooting victims in New Zealand

Thousands attend Muslim prayers for shooting victims in New Zealand

Muslim worshipers take part in emotional Friday prayers in Christchurch, New Zealand one week after attacks by a lone gunman on two mosques killed 50 people.

Eve Johnson reports.


Thousands attend Muslim prayers for shooting victims in New Zealand

The Muslim call to prayer rang out over Christchurch in New Zealand on Friday (March 22) one week after the country's worst mass shooting.

The service was held in a park near the Al Noor mosque one of the two targeted by a gunman who killed 50 people.

It was broadcast live on national television.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern gave a brief speech - quoting the prophet Muhammad.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ARDERN, SAYING: "When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain.

New Zealand mourns with you, we are one." Ardern called for two minutes of silence, observed by people across the country.

An imam from the Al Noor mosque also delivered an emotional tribute to New Zealand.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) IMAM GAMAL FOUDA, SAYING: "We are broken-hearted, but we are not broken.

We are alive, we are together, we are determined to not let anyone divide us," In a show of solidarity, many of the women attending the service wore headscarves - or hijabs.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) CHRISTCHURCH RESIDENT, ROBIN MOLONY, SAYING: "Hopefully it will be a sign of support to the women that it is a right to come out into our community, they are part of our community and this is their home." The hijab movement was echoed by women across New Zealand and social media, with #headscarfforharmony trending on Twitter.

Burials began on Wednesday with a final mass burial held after Friday's morning prayers.

Suspected white supremacist Brenton Tarrant was charged with murder after the Christchurch attack.

He's due back in court in April and is likely to face more charges.

Prime Minister Ardern called the attack an act of terrorism She's also announced tough new gun laws that will ban military-style semi-automatic and assault rifles.

Ardern has said she expects the law to be in place by April 11th.


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