Jacinda Ardern comforted wailing relatives in a bid to ease their grief at Kilbernie mosque today
EMOTIONS ran high in Christchurch this morning as New Zealand’s Prime Minister hugged mourners outside a mosque, The Sun reports.
Wearing a black head scarf, Jacinda Ardern, 38, held on to relatives before listening to them in a bid to ease their pain at the Kilbernie mosque today.
The Prime Minister went on to lay flowers and pay her own tribute to the victims at a makeshift memorial outside the mosque.
Fifty people have been confirmed dead killed in the shootings as the bodies of victims begin to be returned to their families this evening.
Of those killed in the massacre, 42 died at the Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue in central Christchurch, seven were killed at the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque, and one person died at Christchurch Hospital.
Dalia Mohamed, who was mourning Hussein Mustafa, the father-in-law of her daughter, said: “The prime minister, when she came wearing her scarf, that was big for us.”
According to Islamic law, bodies should be cleansed and buried as soon as possible after death.
Arden said today: “It’s likely to be a small number to begin with.
“It’s the expectation that all bodies will be returned to families by Wednesday.”
Cops are thought to have found another body at Al Noor mosque — the first of Brenton Tarrant’s two targets. There were fears the toll could rise to 60.
Tarrant opened fire at two mosques at 1.40pm local time.
He published a chilling 74-page manifesto before he livestreamed himself storming the Al Noor Mosque during Friday prayers.
Tarrant listed Norwegian far-fight mass murderer Anders Breivik and Finsbury Park mosque attacker Darren Osborne as influences, in the document.
Cops believe he then drove for seven minutes to a mosque in Linwood Avenue where he shot dead a further eight victims.
He was arrested and dragged from his car, which was rigged with two bombs, 36 minutes after police were first called.
Details of white supremacist Tarrant’s life have continued to emerge in the wake of the Christchurch massacres.
One relative revealed he would play violent computer games until he wet himself.
A family member said: “He had no outside interests other than that. He used to play computer games all day and night, and they were especially violent ones.”
Grandmother Marie Fitzgerald, 81, told Nine News: “I don’t think girlfriends were on the agenda” – explaining that talking to girls was “too hard”.
Tarrant, 28, remains the only person to have been charged in connection with the attacks .
Toddler Mucad Ibrahim was gunned down when maniac Tarrant burst into a mosque’s prayers.
Older brother Abdi, who escaped with their dad, said no one had seen Mucad since the shooting.
Abdi said: “At this stage everyone’s saying he’s dead. It’s been tough. We’ve never dealt with this.”
Other innocent victims were just four, 12 14 and 16. Their heartbreaking stories emerged yesterday as world leaders told of their shock and revulsion at the slaughter.
Somalian refugee Abdullahi Dirie, four, was one of 42 people to have who died at Al Noor mosque. His dad was among the injured.
Among the dead was keen footballer Heba Sami, 12. He had recently been pictured with a sign saying: “Everyone love everyone.”
Addressing New Zealand shortly after the attack, Ardern said: “We were chosen for the very fact that we are none of those things [hate, racism or extremism].
“Because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion.
“A home for those who share our values. Refuge for those who needs it. And those values will not and cannot be shaken by this attack,” she said.
“You may have chosen us – we utterly reject and condemn you.”