Christchurch shooting: Wearing hijab, New Zealand PM meets victims’ families

Christchurch: Weraing hijab, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Saturday met the families of Friday’s terror attack victims.

Arden, draped in a black salwar-kameez with dupatta covering her head, speaking to reporters, her second press conference said, “You were quick to mention this is not the New Zealand that you know. I want to reaffirm that today. This is not New Zealand.”

She made the remark during her 40-minute address at the Christchurch Canterbury Refugee Centre, where she delivered a message of unity to the country’s Muslim community, the worst affected by the bloody massacre of Friday, when gunmen opened fire at two mosques.

“Bodies are still being removed from mosque. Emergency services are still removing bodies from the Deans Avenue mosque where 41 people were killed on Friday,” she said.

The Prime Minister hoped that all the bodies would be cleared on Saturday.

Ardern announced that families who lost their loved ones in the two shootings would be entitled to compensation.

She said police security at mosques across New Zealand would continue until “it is deemed there is no longer a threat”.

[also_read url=””]Mosque shooting: The massacre a product of Islamophobia and marginalisation of Muslims[/also_read]

More charges would also be laid against the Australian accused of the Christchurch attacks. The 28-year-old faced court on Saturday morning and was charged with one count of murder.

“It absolutely was his intention to continue with his attack,” she said at the Centre.

Ardern has already announced that there will be changes to the country’s gun laws in the aftermath of the massacre, New Zealand Herald reported.

Friday’s killing was a terrorist attack that appeared orchestrated for the social media. The brutal shootings were previewed on an infamous Internet message board and then graphically live-streamed on Facebook.

An 87-page manifesto, found by authorities after it was posted online, was filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim ideas.

With agency inputs