World leaders condemn New Zealand mosque attacks

The international reaction to the New Zealand mosque shootings has been one of outright condemnation.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said he was shocked at the “terrible” attacks that killed dozens of worshippers attending Friday prayers in two mosques in Christchurch.

Mr Sanchez sent condolences to the victims, their families and the government of New Zealand.

Indonesia’s foreign minister Retno Marsudi said: “Indonesia strongly condemns this shooting act, especially at a place of worship while a Friday prayer was ongoing.”

Indonesia, the world’s biggest Muslim-majority country, said six nationals were inside the mosque when the attack occurred, and two were injured.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan condemned the attacks as “the latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia”.

Mr Erdogan said on Twitter: “On behalf of my country, I offer my condolences to the Islamic world and the people of New Zealand, who have been targeted by this deplorable act.”

Germany’s foreign minister said the attacks are a “brutal crime” that touches everyone.

In two tweets, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Germany’s sympathies were with the friends and families of the victims.

He said the attack targeted peacefully praying Muslims, adding that if people are murdered solely because of their religion, then it is “an attack on all of us”.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE’s minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted “heartfelt condolences” to New Zealand on Friday.

Mr Gargash wrote: “Our collective work against violence & hate must continue with renewed vigor. Our thoughts & prayers are with the families of the victims.”

Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan said “terrorism does not have a religion”.

He added: “I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim.”

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen also tweeted her condolences, saying: “I’m utterly saddened by the mass shooting in Christchurch, #NewZealand. My thoughts go to the victims & their families.”

Sweden’s Foreign Minister Margot Wallstrom said she was “shocked” by the attacks, saying “we condemn terrorism in all forms”.

Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen said extremism has again shown its “ugly face”, adding: “Thoughts go out to New Zealand and #Christchurch. We must continue to fight extremism and violence no matter the shape it comes in.”

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