Days after terror attack, New Zealand mosques 'free to open' as heavy vigil continues

Mosques across the country were advised to shut down following the March 14 terror attack, which shook the global community.

Published: 17th March 2019 01:11 PM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2019 01:11 PM   |  A+A-

Mourners paying their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, Saturday, March 16, 2019, Christchurch, New Zealand, where one of the two mass shootings occurred. (Photo | AP)

Mourners paying their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque, Saturday, March 16, 2019, Christchurch, New Zealand, where one of the two mass shootings occurred. (Photo | AP)

By ANI

WELLINGTON: Mosques across New Zealand are "free and welcome to open their doors" but police will maintain an armed presence after 50 people were killed and over an equal number of people were injured in the gruesome Christchurch terror attack.

"Mosques are welcome to open their doors if they choose to do so. Police will continue to maintain a presence at all Mosques across New Zealand," New Zealand Police tweeted on Sunday. Mosques across the country were advised to shut down following the March 14 terror attack, which shook the global community.

Meanwhile, security was beefed up outside mosques in United States, United Kingdom, Australia, Canada and other countries following the ghastly shootings, carried out by a 28-year-old white man Brenton Harrison Tarrant, who has been charged with murder ever since.

READ| Husband of slain woman says forgives New Zealand mosque gunman​

Police believe that Tarrant single-handedly carried out the terror attack at both the mosques under a span of 36 minutes during the ongoing Friday prayers for which a large number of faithful had congregated. At least five Indians, including three from Gujarat, also lost their lives in the shootings.

36 wounded, including two Indian nationals and two persons of Indian origin, are undergoing treatment at Christchurch Hospital following Thursday's attacks, as the police have informed that 11 people out of them continue to be in critical condition.

"In addition, the four-year-old child transported to Starship Hospital in Auckland yesterday remains in a critical condition," New Zealand Police tweeted.

"Police understands the religious duty of the Islamic faith to bury the deceased as soon as possible, and is working closely with the Chief Coroner to do everything possible to expedite the process," they added, mentioning that the deceased victims have been removed from both the Christchurch mosques.

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