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World leaders condemn New Zealand terrorist attack

Published: Updated:

World leaders condemned on Friday a terrorist attack that left at least 49 dead and 20 badly injured in armed assaults on two Christchurch mosques.

In a statement, The General Secretariat of the Council of Senior Scholars said “We call on the whole world, its countries, as well as its organizations and its institutions to criminalize all racist rhetoric,” according to Saudi state news agency SPA.

“It feeds extremism and terrorism and leads to such brutal terrorist attacks,” the statement added.

Two Saudi citizens were among those injured in the terrorist attack, according to an official statement from the Kingdom’s embassy in Wellington.

The embassy called on all its citizens in Christchurch to follow instructions issued by local authorities to stay indoors until further notice.

Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman and the UAE

The Gulf countries followed suit and offered their condolences to the families of those affected by the attack..

Dubai’s ruler, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, said in a tweet, “on a day of peace like Friday and at a place of worship like the mosque, we witnessed the most heinous crime of religious hatred.”

Condemnation and condolences

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Pope Francis, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan both condemned the attacks on Twitter.

“This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families,” the Pakistani PM tweeted.

British Queen Elizabeth II also sent a message to the people of New Zealand on Twitter, and said “I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives.”

United States President Donald Trump also shared his condolences on Twitter with the families of those affected by the attacks.

Japan's top government spokesman, Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, offered his condolences to the victims of mosque attacks in New Zealand and said Japan stands by the people of that country.