NATIONAL NEWS

Police Release First Names Of Mosque Victims

Mar 19, 2019, 6:18 PM | Updated: Jun 8, 2022, 5:14 pm
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 17: A man pauses next to a New Zealand flag hung amongst flowers ...
CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - MARCH 17: A man pauses next to a New Zealand flag hung amongst flowers and tributes on the wall of the Botanic Gardens on March 17, 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand. 50 people are confirmed dead, with 36 injured still in hospital following shooting attacks on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March. 41 of the victims were killed at Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue and seven died at Linwood mosque. Another victim died later in Christchurch hospital. A 28-year-old Australian-born man, Brenton Tarrant, appeared in Christchurch District Court on Saturday charged with murder. The attack is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand's history. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
(Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — The Latest on the mosque shootings in New Zealand (all times local):

12:50 p.m.

New Zealand police have officially released the first names of the 50 people killed in last week’s shootings at two New Zealand mosques.

Police said the five people they have named were all male and died at the Al Noor mosque.

Hati Mohemmed Doud Nabi, 71, of New Zealand.

Mohsen Mohammed Al Harbi, 63, of New Zealand.

Kamel Moh’d Kamal Kamel Darwish, 38, of Jordan.

Junaid Ismail, 36, of New Zealand.

Mucaad Ibrahim, 3, of New Zealand.

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police have now formally identified and released the bodies of 21 people to family members.

He said they hope to finish formally identifying most victims by the end of the day although some will take longer.

___

12:35 p.m.

The first funeral for two of 50 victims of last week’s shootings at two mosques in New Zealand has begun.

Hundreds of people are at the services in Christchurch.

The identity of the victims was not immediately known. Authorities spent four days constructing a special grave at a city cemetery that is designated for the Muslim burials.

An Australian white supremacist killed 50 worshippers in two mosques last Friday.

___

11:50 a.m.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he will protest to the Turkish ambassador on Wednesday against the Turkish president’s accusation of an anti-Islam motive behind Australia and New Zealand sending troops to Turkey in the World War I Gallipoli campaign.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was denouncing Islamophobia after an Australian white supremacist killed 50 worshippers in two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Morrison said the comments were not helpful.

Thousands of Australian and New Zealand citizens gather at the Gallipoli peninsula on April 25 each year to commemorate the start of the failed British-led campaign in 1915 to open a new front in the war against Germany.

___

11:30 a.m.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has visited a school where two boys killed in last week’s mosque attacks were students.

In a speech at Cashmere High School, Ardern renewed her call for people to focus on the victims rather than the perpetrator.

She says there will be interest in the terrorist but asked the students not to say his name or dwell on him.

The Cashmere High students killed were 14-year-old Sayyad Milne and 16-year-old Hamza Mustafa. A third Cashmere student, Mustafa’s 13-year-old brother Zaed, is recovering from gunshot wounds to his leg.

___

10:45 a.m. Wednesday

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush says police have now formally identified and released the bodies of 21 people out of the 50 who were killed in last week’s mosque attacks.

Bush said that releasing the bodies was a priority for family reasons, compassionate reasons and cultural reasons.

Islamic law says that people should be buried as soon as possible after death, preferably within 24 hours.

Bush’s comments came after it was announced that the first two burials of the victims are scheduled to take place Wednesday morning.

He says they hope to finish formally identifying most victims by the end of the day although some will take longer.

___

10 a.m.

The first two burials of the victims from last week’s mosque shootings in New Zealand are scheduled to take place Wednesday morning.

Christchurch City Council spokeswoman Jocelyn Ritchie says the Muslim burial ceremony for the two of the 50 people killed will take place at 11 a.m. She said she did not know the identities of the two bodies to be buried first.

Authorities spent four days constructing a special grave at a city cemetery that is designated for Muslim burials.

It’s uncertain how many of the victims will be buried there. Officials have received some requests to send bodies to the native countries of those killed.

The alleged Australian gunman who opened fire inside the mosques last week was a self-proclaimed racist.

About 60 men in Muslim attire held meetings at the grave site ahead of the burials to survey the area.

___

12:30 a.m.

A group of big internet companies says it has added more than 800 different versions of the New Zealand mosque shooting video to a shared database used to block violent terrorist images and videos.

The Global Internet Forum to Counter Terrorism said Monday that it added “digital fingerprints” for the visually distinct videos to its list.

The group, led by Facebook, YouTube, Microsoft and Twitter, was responding to attempts by internet users to share the video by editing or repackaging versions with different digital fingerprints to avoid detection.

The forum said in a brief statement that the “incident highlights the importance of industry cooperation regarding the range of terrorists and violent extremists operating online.”

The group formed in 2017 in response to official pressure to do more to fight online extremism.

___

12:30 a.m.

Ignoring widespread criticism, Turkey’s president has again shown excerpts of a video taken by the attacker who killed 50 people in mosques in New Zealand.

Speaking at a campaign rally in the northern town of Eregli, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday called on New Zealand to amend its laws to ensure that the attacker is severely punished.

Erdogan said, “If New Zealand fails to hold the attacker accountable, one way or another we will hold him to account.”

He went on to criticize New Zealand and Australia for sending troops to Turkey in the World War I Gallipoli campaign, claiming their motive was anti-Islam-oriented.

Erdogan has been using clips from Friday’s attack to denounce Islamophobia ahead of March 31 local elections as he tries to stoke nationalist and religious sentiments.

___

11:25 p.m. Tuesday

Facebook says it received no reports of the video of the Christchurch mosque attacks while it was being livestreamed by the gunman.

Chris Sonderby, vice president and deputy general counsel at Facebook, says “no users reported the video during the live broadcast,” which was viewed fewer than 200 times.

Sonderby says in a blog post that Facebook removed the video “within minutes'” of being contacted by police, and it was watched about 4,000 times in total before being taken down. He says Facebook removed 1.5 million videos of the attacks in the 24 hours after the event.

Social media companies rely on the public to report objectionable comment. Facebook has come under fire after video of the shootings spread rapidly on the internet.

___

10:10 p.m.

Police in New Zealand say they have completed autopsies on all 50 victims of last week’s mosque shootings, and have formally identified 12 of them. Six of the identified victims have been returned to their families.

Four days after the attack, relatives were anxiously waiting Tuesday for word on when they can bury their loved ones.

Islamic tradition calls for bodies to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible after death, usually within 24 hours. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said authorities hope to release all the bodies by Wednesday, and police have said authorities are working with pathologists and coroners to complete the task as soon as they can.

Police said in a statement that their “absolute priority is to get this right and ensure that no mistakes are made.”

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Police Release First Names Of Mosque Victims