The death toll in Friday's mass shootings at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, was revised to 50, and an equal number of injured, on Sunday. (Antara Photo/Maulana Surya)

Indonesia Condemns Friday's Mass Shootings at Two New Zealand Mosques

BY :NUR YASMIN

MARCH 17, 2019

Jakarta. Indonesia has condemned the shooting of worshipers at two mosques in New Zealand on Friday, in the worst terror attack the country of less than 5 million people has experienced in nearly three decades.

At least one gunman opened fire on worshipers during midday prayers at the Al-Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, about 440 kilometers from the capital, Auckland. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Friday evening that there 49 dead and 48 injured, including two Indonesians. The death toll was revised to 50, and an equal number of injured, on Sunday.

An Indonesian citizen and his son were wounded at Linwood Mosque, while three others managed to escape. The whereabouts of at least one more Indonesian was still unknown as of Friday afternoon.

"Indonesia strongly condemns this kind of violence. I also express deep sorrow for the victims of the action," President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Friday. He appealed to Indonesian citizens in New Zealand to increase their vigilance.

"[Our] deepest condolences to the victims of the terrorist shootings at Al-Noor and Linwood mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand...," he said on his Twitter account later.

 

Tantowi Yahya, Indonesia's ambassador to New Zealand, confirmed to the Jakarta Globe that there were six Indonesians present at the mosques at the time of the attacks.

"We have established communications with all relevant authorities and issued a notice to all Indonesians in New Zealand to remain vigilant," he said.

There are at least 331 Indonesians in Christchurch, including 134 students.

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Ferdinandus Setu, a spokesman for the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology, has meanwhile warned netizens against posting footage of the shootings on social media. 

"The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is working with the National Police to track down accounts spreading negative content," Ferdinandus said.

Under the 2016 revision of the Electronic Information and Transactions Law, people spreading digital content containing references to violence and terrorism may face up to four years in prison or a fine of Rp 750 million ($52,600).

A video went viral on social media on Friday showing the gunman opening fire on dozens of people inside one of the mosques.

A witness told the Guardian that he saw a man dressed in black enter the mosque before hearing multiple gunshots. The shooter reportedly fled before police arrived.

New Zealand Police later said on their Facebook page that four suspects – three men and a woman – had been taken into custody, but that one was subsequently released.

The last mass shooting in New Zealand occurred in 1990.

Relatives and friends requiring further information and those in need of consular services may contact the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington at the hotlines +64 21 1950 980 and +64 22 3812 065.

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