March 17, 2019
On Friday, mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, were attacked leaving more than 40 people dead. The White House gave their support to the country saying the United States “strongly condemns” the massacre.
President Donald Trump also took to social media to offer his sincere condolences and assistance to New Zealand.
Just before 7:30 a.m. on Friday morning the White House issued a statement in relation to the deadly violence that left 49 people dead and dozens of others wounded in New Zealand. About 10 minutes later, President Donald Trump took to Twitter with his own personal message to the county.
In a heartfelt post, the president wrote:
“My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes [sic] out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”
The massacre occurred after a heavily armed gunman wearing military-style gear opened fire during prayers at the mosque in the center of Christchurch. A second mosque was also targeted.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it a “terrorist attack,” that was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.” An unnamed man in his late 20s has been charged with the murders.
He will appear at the Christchurch court on Saturday morning. New Zealand police revealed that the man had also released a 74-page manifesto which he used to rally against Muslims and immigrants.
The document was said to have briefly mentioned Trump. The gunman claimed to be Trump’s supporter in one part but not fully.
It stated, “As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policymaker and leader? Dear god no.” The killer also shared that he’d followed the examples of other notorious right-wing extremists, including Dylann Roof.
The aforementioned man killed nine black churchgoers in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015. The president’s daughter and White House adviser, Ivanka Trump, also condemned the tragic attacks.
“49 innocent people were slaughtered in their place of worship during the terrorist attack on Christchurch Mosques. We join New Zealand and Muslim communities around the world in condemnation of this evil as we pray for the families of each victim and grieve together.”
The US National security adviser, John Bolton, said the country was "very concerned" and would be following the events "very closely." According to Mike Bush, New Zealand's Police Commissioner, forty-one people were killed at the al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue.
Seven others died at the Linwood mosque on Linwood Avenue, and one person died from their injuries in the hospital. Four people were taken into custody, three men and one woman.
Christchurch MP Gerry Brownlee had this to say:
"It's something that we never expected to have happened here. We're a relatively small population, and while we are ethnically quite diverse, we live very peaceable lives. And this, as many have seen, has shattered our innocence."
The MP, who lives a short distance from one of the shooting sites, added: "Almost everyone will know someone or have a connection with the families of someone who has been either killed or seriously wounded today."
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