CHRISTCHURCH: At least six Pakistani nationals were killed in the terror attack on two mosques in New Zealand and one of them died while he was reportedly attempting to stop the shooter.
Foreign Office spokesman Mohammad Faisal confirmed that six Pakistanis were among 49 worshippers killed by an Australia-born gunman at two mosques during Friday prayers in New Zealand’s Christchurch city.
The deceased has been identified as Sohail Shahid, Syed Jahandad Ali, Syed Areeb Ahmed, Mahboob Haroon, Naeem Rashid and his son Talha Naeem.
The Foreign Office spokesman said that three others who are missing are yet to be identified.
Our Mission and family members of the missing persons, currently in Christchurch, are assisting in this process, he said.
Faisal said that New Zealand police circulated 74 names of missing persons after the incident as reported by families and diplomatic representatives.
Authorities informed that they have only 49 bodies and police sought assistance to delete names that were duplicated.
According to a media report, one of the deceased, Naeem Rashid, died while he was attempting to stop the shooter during the attack.
Rashid succumbed to his wounds while under treatment following the attack and was identified as the individual who rushed at the right-wing terrorist attacking the mosque in Christchurch city, the Express Tribune reported.
Rashid, hailing from Abbottabad, received bullet wounds as he tried to overpower the shooter as he entered one of the mosques in Christchurch, the daily said. His son Rashid also died in the attack.
The 28-year-old gunman, identified Brenton Tarrant, live-streamed footage of himself going room-to-room, victim to victim, shooting the wounded from close range as they struggled to crawl away.
He also published a racist ‘manifesto’ on social media before the attack, featuring conspiracy theories about Europeans being “displaced” by immigrants and details of two years of preparation and radicalisation leading up to the shootings.
His two targets were the Masjid al Noor mosque, where 41 people died, and a second, smaller mosque in the suburb of Linwood, where seven more died. The remaining victim succumbed in hospital.
The survivors included 17 members of Bangladesh’s cricket team, whose game against New Zealand on Saturday has been cancelled, and a Palestinian man who fled for his life after seeing someone being shot in the head.
The attack has shocked New Zealanders, who are used to seeing around 50 murders a year in the entire country of 4.8 million and pride themselves on living in a secure and welcoming place.
Police warned Muslims all over the country not to visit mosques anywhere in New Zealand in the wake of the Christchurch attacks.