New Zealand mosque killings spark global horror

Muslims shout slogans as they condemn the Christchurch mosque attack in New Zealand, after Friday prayers at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque in Dhaka. Reuters file photo

Attacks on two mosques in New Zealand which left at least 49 people dead on Friday have sparked horror, revulsion and dismay around the world.

One of the gunmen - believed to be an Australian extremist -- apparently live-streamed the deadly assault.

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, describing it as "one of New Zealand's darkest days."

Here is a summary of the main international reactions so far.

"With this attack, hostility towards Islam that the world has been has been idly watching and even encouraging for some time, has gone beyond the boundaries of individual harassment to reach the level of mass killing," said Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

"If measures are not taken right away, news of other disasters will follow this one... I am calling on the world, in particular the West, to take quick measures," he said.

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad said he hoped New Zealand "will arrest these terrorists and do the necessary under the law of the country."

Indonesian President Joko Widoyo, head of the world's largest Muslim country, said "we strongly condemn these kind of violent acts".

"An attack against peaceful people gathering for prayer is shocking in its cruelty and cynicism," Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

"I hope that those involved will be severely punished," he said in a message to Arden.

"Harrowing news from New Zealand overnight" said EU Council president Donald Tusk.

"The brutal attack... will never diminish the tolerance and decency that New Zealand is famous for."

British Prime Minister Theresa May offered deepest condolences "after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch. My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence."

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she mourned "with New Zealanders for their fellow citizens who were attacked and murdered out of racist hatred while peacefully praying in their mosques. We stand together against such acts of terrorism."

French President Emmanuel Macron echoed Merkel's message, condemning an "odious attack" and saying France "stands against any form of extremism".

NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg said the US-led alliance "stands with our friend and partner New Zealand in defence of our open societies and shared values".

Spanish Premier Pedro Sanchez said his thoughts were with the victims, families and government of New Zealand after attacks by "fanatics and extremists who want to destroy our societies".

Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg urged the international community to combat all forms of extremism after the Christchurch attacks, which revived painful memories of the 2011 Breivik mass killings in Norway.

"It's obviously very sad. It recalls painful memories of our own experience with July 22, the most difficult moment in the post-war period in Norway."

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New Zealand mosque killings spark global horror

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