Antigua and Barbuda and other CARICOM member states condemn New Zealand massacre

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Antigua and Barbuda and the other 14-members of the CARICOM grouping have condemned the latest attack on two mosques in New Zealand.

 In a statement made over the weekend, CARICOM said that it was shocked and appalled at the attack by a 28-year-old gunman, who opened indiscriminate fire at worshippers, some as they were kneeling at prayer.

CARICOM said that it condemns in the strongest possible terms, this savage act of terrorism perpetrated at places of worship, where people would normally find sanctuary and peace. No ideology or philosophy could justify such gruesome acts.

 The Caribbean Community grouping also made it clear that they stand in solidarity with the government and people of New Zealand, a country renowned for its diversity and tranquility.

The statement also reaffirmed the member states confidence that this horrendous incident will strengthen the traditional values of peace and harmony for which New Zealand is well known.

According to CNN, “the number of people killed in Friday’s massacre in Christchurch rose to 50 when another body was discovered at the Al Noor mosque, where most of the victims were killed.”

A total of 46 persons have reportedly been injured.

 Women and children were among those killed.

The bravery of those who went to the assistance of the wounded even as the attack unfolded, as well as the swift response by the security forces was also applauded by CARICOM.

The mosques targeted in Friday’s attack, the worst mass shooting in the country’s history, were the Masjid Al Noor in central Christchurch and another place of worship in the suburb of Linwood.

Authorities have also warned Muslims not to visit mosques anywhere in New Zealand.

World leaders also condemned the attack with the White House describing it as a “vicious act of hate,” and Britain’s Prime Minister Theresa May saying that it was a “sickening act of violence.”

The suspected gunman appeared in court on Saturday and was charged with murder.

He has been remanded until April 5.

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