New Zealand, attack on two mosques: 40 dead
Bangladesh national team players arrived at the attack site five minutes after the shooting. The match scheduled for tomorrow has been canceled. The bomber is an Australian man "white, extreme right wing terrorist". Hatred towards migrants could be at the origin of the massacre.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) - At least 40 people have been killed and over twenty injured in the attacks on two mosques in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand today, while Friday prayers were underway. By pure coincidence, the Bangladesh, which tomorrow was supposed to play a match against the New Zealand national team cricket team, is safe. The cricket match has been canceled.
The team president said that the bus carrying the players arrived near a mosque attacked just five minutes after the shooting. The player Tamim Iqbal wrote on his Twitter profile: "If we arrived five minutes later, we too would have been among the victims!" On social media, fans are writing encouraging messages to players and praying for the safe return of the Bengali Tigers.
The Islamic world has expressed dismay at the attack on mosques, which was filmed live on Facebook. Authorities are asking people to stop posting footage of the carnage, as a sign of respect for the families of the victims.
According to initial reports, a white man in military uniform and armed with an automatic rifle opened fire on the faithful gathered in prayer around 13.30 today in the Masjid Al Noor mosque. The second attack took place instead in a mosque in the Linwood district, but for now there is no other information. Women and children are among the victims.
The shooting has shocked the population, for the first time marked by racist terrorism. The New Zealand premier Jacinda Ardern, who hypothesizes an "anti-immigrant sentiment as a possible reason" for the attack, spoke of aversion to the large numbers of migrants in the city. But then she added: "Even if the people affected in the shooting are migrants or refugees, they have chosen New Zealand as their home. They are part of this community. Whoever committed this violence is not. "
Australian Prime Minister Scott reports that the attacker is an Australian citizen, "an extremist, extreme right-wing terrorist". The foreign minister also reports that 331 Indonesians live in the city of Christchurch, of which 134 are students.