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Flowers and messages of support adorn NZ mosque for shooting anniversary

Video Credit: Reuters Studio - Duration: 01:53s - Published < > Embed
Flowers and messages of support adorn NZ mosque for shooting anniversary

Flowers and messages of support adorn NZ mosque for shooting anniversary

Hundreds of people gathered in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday (March 13) to honor the 51 lives lost in the attack on two mosques in the city last year.

Gloria Tso reports.

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Flowers and messages of support adorn NZ mosque for shooting anniversary

Hundreds of people gathered for Friday prayers in New Zealand (March 13) to honor the lives lost in the attack on two mosques in Christchurch last year.

The shootings left 51 people dead and widely seen as an attack on the Muslim community.

Aya al-Umari's brother Hussein died in the attack.

She gazed at the flowers and tributes outside the Al Noor mosque, but could not bring herself to go inside.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) SISTER OF HUSSEIN AL-UMARI, AYA AL-UMARI, SAYING: "It really feels like yesterday, the emotions are still raw.

We live it day in and day out.

But this year-on anniversary, it's just an opportunity for us to come together as a country and reflect on the hate that happened which caused the loss of lives, and ultimately my brother as well." In an emotional press conference on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the country has 'fundamentally changed' since the shootings, but that there is much more work to be done.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) NEW ZEALAND PRIME MINISTER JACINDA ARDERN, SAYING: "The challenge for us will be ensuring that in our every day actions and every opportunity where we see bullying, harassment, racism, discrimination - calling it out as a nation.

That is when we'll show that we each individually have a role to play in making sure that New Zealand has fundamentally changed for the better." Ardern was praised across the globe last year for her response to the attacks.

In their wake, the country outlawed the weapons used by the gunman within weeks.

Ardern said a Sunday memorial marking the anniversary is still supposed to go ahead as scheduled, but acknowledged that could change if the coronavirus situation in New Zealand grows worse.

Brenton Tarrant, an Australian national, faces 92 charges related to the Christchurch attacks.

He has pleaded not guilty and will face trial in June.




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