Updated in: 22 May 2019 - 12:41
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TEHRAN (defapress)- Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, in a tweet hours after twin terrorists attack on two mosques in New Zealand on Friday, lamented that anti-Muslim comments like those of US President Donald Trump have led to attacks on mosques and violence against Muslims.
News ID: 76205
Publish Date: 15March 2019 - 17:56

Iran Condemns Western Bigotry against Muslims as Cause for Attacks on MosquesZarif posted two pictures along with his tweet showing that Trump, in his race for the White House, tells media “I think Islam hates us” and another screenshot showing hate-tweets of Australian Senator Fraser Anning who blames immigrant Muslims for violence in his country.

“Impunity in Western ‘democracies’ to promote bigotry leads to this,” Zarif said adding that both “Israeli thugs” entering “mosque in Palestine to insult Muslims” and terrorists in New Zealand livestreaming “their murder of 49 Muslims” are the consequences of the spread of Islamophobia in the Western societies.

“Western hypocrisy of defending demonization of Muslims as ‘freedom of expression’ MUST end,” Zarif said, and urged the Western community to stop its anti-Islamic campaign.

Earlier in the day, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman Bahram Qassemi condemned in the strongest terms the terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand's city of Christchurch, which left as many as 49 people killed and over 50 injured in the mass shootings.

Qassemi described the attack as “inhumane” and “barbaric”, calling on the New Zealand government to quickly identify the perpetrators of this racist act, and confront them by administering justice without any consideration.

“Any terrorist act, no matter where it occurs or by whom it is carried out or under whatever pretext and motives, must be condemned by all countries," said Qassemi, adding "governments must not allow racist and anti-Islam sentiments to endanger the security and peace of the citizens of their countries."

Gunmen entered two mosques and began shooting in New Zealand's city of Christchurch on Friday with police saying there were many dead, while police defused several improvised explosive devices found attached to vehicles.

At least 49 people have been killed and tens of others seriously injured after gunmen opened fire in two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, in what is now the worst ever mass shooting in New Zealand history, World News reported.

"A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter," New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said on Friday, adding, "Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high".

Bush said four suspects were in custody - three men and a woman - but added that "let's not presume the danger is gone".

A number of improvised explosives were found attached to the assailants’ vehicles, but it is not clear whether they were planning a suicide attack. The explosives were then defused.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called the incident a terrorist attack in a Friday press conference, stressing that the suspects held "extremist views" that have no place in New Zealand or the world.

Ardern described the attack as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

"What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence," she said, adding that the attackers have "no place in New Zealand."

In the aftermath of the attacks, New Zealand has been placed on its highest security threat level according to the PM.

A total of 48 patients, including young children with gunshot wounds, are have been admitted to Christchurch hospital for treatment.

Four people were taken into custody, three men and one woman, in connection with the attack but only one has been charged with murder so far. It has been confirmed that all four held extremist views but were not on any police watchlists.

Authorities have urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors. Police warned worshippers not to visit mosques "anywhere in New Zealand". New Zealand police have also warned all mosques countrywide to shut their doors due to a "very serious and tragic incident involving an active shooter".

Eyewitnesses told local media that the gunman, dressed in a military-style outfit, started randomly shooting people in the Masjid Al Noor mosque with his automatic rifle.

The shooter entered the Masjid Al Noor mosque 10 minutes after prayers began and let off “dozens, if not hundreds of rounds”, witness Ahmad al-Mahmoud told New Zealand outlet Stuff. He described the man as white-skinned, blond, short, and wearing a helmet and bulletproof vest.

Police had confirmed a second shooting occurred at the Linwood mosque during Friday prayers in the South Island city, but no details were immediately available.

But, a witness said they saw a man leave the mosque wearing camouflage gear and a motorcycle helmet, while unconfirmed reports indicated that a bomb was found on nearby Strickland Ave.

Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the Masjid Al Noor mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.

"I saw dead people everywhere," Peneha - who lives next to the mosque - stated, adding that he also saw the gunman flee before emergency services arrived

One man in the mosque, with blood stains all over his clothes, said he hid under a bench as the shooting took place, adding that about 50 people were inside the building.

"It was unbelievable. I saw about 20 people, some dead, some screaming," one eyewitness told local television, adding, "I saw on the floor so many bullet shells, hundreds."

Some worshippers managed to escape through windows and doors but "many people had been hit". About 10 to 15 people were seen outside the mosque, "some alive, some dead", according to reports.

One of the shooters, believed to be a 28-year-old Australian man, livestreamed the attack on Facebook and posted content on Instagram, according to local media, and penned a lengthy manifesto characterizing the shooting as a “terrorist attack”.

New Zealand’s three largest internet providers, Spark, Vodafone and Vocus, have announced they are blocking customers’ access to three websites located outside the country that are still hosting the livestream of one shooter’s rampage, an unprecedented restrictive measure Spark spokesman Andrew Pirie called “the responsible thing for the industry to do”.

The attack resulted in the highest death toll from gun violence in the nation’s recent history.

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Tags: Iran ، Muslims ، Mosques ، defapress
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