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tv   BBC News  BBC News  March 18, 2019 2:00am-2:31am GMT

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this is bbc world news. i'm sharanjit leyl in christchurch. new zealand's prime minister opens a book of condolence for victims of the christchurch attacks — writing "together we are one. they are us". she's now discuss tightening gun laws with her cabinet. what the public rightly are asking right now is why is it and how is it that you should and are currently able to purchase military style semiautomatic weapons in new zealand. i fully support the prime
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minister '5 zealand. i fully support the prime minister 's swift and decisive action. as counter—terrorism police raid two homes in australia — where the suspect, brenton tarrant, grew up — his family say they're devastated. i'm reged ahmad in london. also in the programme: ethiopia says flight data from the ethiopian airlines disaster shows "clear similarities" with the lion air crash last october. the civilians who remain in the islamic state group's last stronghold in syria as forces close in. the investigation into the shootings at two mosques in new zealand has seen counter terrorism officers carry out two raids in australia — where the man arrested
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for the killings, brenton tarrant, grew up. security officals say the properties in new south wales are in towns just north of sydney. new south wales police said: "the primary aim of the activity is to formally obtain material that may assist new zealand police in their ongoing investigation, and that the family of the australian man arrested in christchurch continues to assist police with their inquiries." speaking to australian media the australian home affairs minister peter dutton confirmed that brenton tarrant spent only 45 days in australia over the past three years and was not on any terror watch lists. with more on events and developments in new zealand, my colleague sharanjit leyl is in christchurch. let's go there now. it's 3 o'clock in the afternoon here in christchurch — where police
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here have proimised a high profile —— promised a high profile presence as schools and business reopen. thousands of people have been attending vigils across the country, in memory of the fifty people people killed in a terror attack on two mosques. there is a vigil here at the botanical gardens where i am and people continue to lay flowers and trees. —— wreaths. prime ministerjacinda ardern signed a book of condolonces before she held a cabinet meeting on new gun control laws. speaking on national tv, ms ardern said she was determined to change the law and take military style weapons out of circulation. i have some initial proposals for cabinet to discuss. i do not want to pre—empt that discussion but i can assure you that our gun laws will change. i know that there is understandably both grief and anger in new zealand. there are questions that need to be answered and that we
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are looking for is well. we will need to provide ashore and service to the public that everything that could have been done has been done but whether or not more could and should have been done. we will be putting in place what needs to occur to a nswer putting in place what needs to occur to answer those questions. there are ways we can bring in effective regulation of firearms that actually target those who we need to target and that is our focus. what the public rightly are asking right now is why is it and how easy it that you should and are currently able to purchase military style semiautomatic weapons in new zealand. that is the right question to ask. i think i am feeling exactly the same way that all new zealanders feel at the moment. everyone is grieving and i grieve with them. but i also have a importantjob to do. i need to make sure we are looking
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after those affected, that they have ongoing care and support, notjust in the coming days but in the months and years. and that is why i am in cradley focused. i have a job to do. —— incredibly focused. the managing director of new zealand's largest gun retailer — david tipple — confirmed a short time ago that the alleged gunman purchased four weapons online from his company, but not the assualt rifle reportedly used in the massacre. mr tipple refused to engage in any gun law debate but said he would support legislative changes made by the prime minister. we detected nothing extraordinary about the license holder. the military style semiauto reportedly used by the alleged gunmen was not purchased from gun city. gun city did not sell him that, only a
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category firearms. gun city fully support the prime minister's swift and decisive actions following this tragedy. the community in christchurch has come together in the wake of the events here. schools will reopen with special counsellors on hand, to help children and teachers traumatised by the attack. and as the country has begun to come to terms with the massacre, tales of heroism, suffering and incredible grace have began to emerge. my colleague clive myrie has this report. a police helicopter surveys a scene of mass murder below. while on the ground nearby, an armed response stands ready just in case. members of christchurch‘s muslim community are gathering to volunteer. they must care for children now orphaned, help feed families that no
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longer have breadwinners. they must organise the burials of the dead. all this pain because of 30 minutes of madness. everyone was frightened. many caught up in the violence recorded the aftermath on their phones to bear witness. abdul aziz was in the linwood mosque. he was next to my 11—year—old son. so, that dead man there? yeah, because he shot him through the window. and he was standing next to your son? yeah. his four children were praying at the time. they survived. abdul aziz tried to tackle the killer. when i ran outside i saw two dead bodies on the floor and i saw one man with army clothes near his car and i yelled at him. i said, "who are you?" and i swore at him. i knew he wasn't an army person, or something. so he was dressed in army fatigues, army clothing? yeah, army clothing,
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everything army. he drops his gun there and runs to his car. when he runs to his car, he saw i was chasing him with his own rifle, with his own shotguns. that he'd discarded 7 yeah, he discarded them on the floor. ijust threw the shotgun on his car windows and smashed his window and at that time he got a bit frightened. the murderer got away, his twisted thoughts made real. it's believed abdul aziz‘s courage in taking on the killer helped save lives. one ray of brightness on a dark day. he has also been speaking to the mayor of christchurch. it has been this real disbelief that this could happen here in christchurch. i think the reality is we were chosen for a reason, we are a safe city and a safe country, and that is why
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this happened here. i am not going to give voice to the hatred and the expressions that seem to be the motives behind this. but i am pleased to see city leaders around the world standing up against islamophobia, standing up against racism, standing up against all of those things that drive this form of hatred, at the extreme end. this is an extremist act. i have spoken to many in the muslim community here over the last couple of days and they say that what happened does not reflect the attitudes of the vast majority of people, not just in christchurch but across the country? that's right. i have been visiting with some of the family members, and they have been using words, like, "in all the time that i have lived here," and people have lived here for years, they have said, you know, "not one word has come from lips to say to me in a bad way anything."
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and that, to me, was a very powerful expression. i know that's not universal because there are people in the world who don't treat people as equals, but i think that what has happened here, and you can see it in the tributes behind me, is that there is this overwhelming outpouring of love and support and compassion and kindness, and i think those are the qualities that so many of our muslim brothers and sisters, that's what they see in everyday life, and they have seen it expressed here today. what is yourjob in trying to bring this community together, to heal it after this trauma ? i think it's really important that people focus on what got us through our experience of the earthquakes, which is neighbours coming together and supporting each other, communities coming together and supporting each other, and i think that is
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going to be really important too. we have a press conference currently taking place and we can take you to that. this is the deputy police commissioner speaking right now.- a result of another family member having been killed, so the desires and the wishes of the family at this point is to wait until we finished the postmortem with that person and both will be released together. the process has been very emotional and highly stressful for all and you can imagine that the emotions are running high as in accordance with islamic faith the families have wa nted islamic faith the families have wanted the bodies to be returned as soon as possible. and we are ensuring that we do that. as i mentioned yesterday, we have 90 people from the disaster in victim identification team working through the night. this morning we conducted
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two important blessings at the denes avenue mosque and at lynnwood mosque. —— linwood mosque. the blessing was carried out by a maori leader and experts from the islamic community. we have had their real expert teams in place ready to receive the bodies at a point in time. this blessing this morning has given huge confidence that all the essential prayers have been lifted of those places in preparation once the investigation has been completed, to reopen those mosques ata completed, to reopen those mosques at a point in time. we have met with ourcriminal at a point in time. we have met with our criminal investigation team and we hope to have those premises in place by the end of the week to
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allow our halls and community to go back and undertake prayer. so at this point in time i would like to ask a member of the muslim community to speak to you about the events that will take place. i would like to invite our president to first provide a breathing and then we will cover the aspects that the commissioner has highlighted. thank you. thank you deputy commissioner. all things and praises are due to god, the most beneficent —— inefficient and merciful. —— beneficent inefficient and merciful. —— benefice nt and merciful. inefficient and merciful. —— beneficent and merciful. this morning we went to bless the mosque
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in the city where many lives were lost. i remembered a few years ago when we had an earthquake hearing christchurch that mosque housed 500 individuals, providing them with meals everyday and today that mosque is closed because of what took place la st is closed because of what took place last friday. while our community is morning, we are saddened by what took place, we are shocked but as a community we are a resilient community, we know we are living in a country that were welcome, that loves us. one of the most beautiful and peaceful countries in the world. so our shock was heightened more it was we never expected anything like
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that would ever happen in this country. and i think those right—wing individuals who are trying to promote hatred around the world chose our beautiful and peaceful country for the same reason that we pride ourselves on, when we go around and say we belong to one of the best countries in the world. so they want to bring friction and division between our communities and thatis division between our communities and that is why they picked this country and before i say anything else, i would like to give them a message, a reply. they have failed woefully because what they have done, if anything, has increased the love and the feeling we have for our country and we have also seen the tremendous outpouring of love that we call aroha here in new zealand. there are
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no words i can bring to support —— to describe the amount of aroha and support we have in receiving from new zealand and around the world. and of course you can appreciate as a community, our focus right now is to look after those people who are injured and in hospital, to make sure that they get well and also to support their families. we are also working hard to support the families of those who lost their loved ones. as the deputy commissioner mentioned, some of these bodies are beginning to be released in the process of burial will commence and thatis process of burial will commence and that is where we are focusing our attention. and that is where we are spending ourtime attention. and that is where we are spending our time with our community. so many people are involved. the
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first thing ever say, right from our prime minister down to the person in history, are involved to help us make sure give these people dignified, spiritual burial. the hospitals, our own police force, are in security agents. we are working with them very closely. and everything we need is provided to us. everything we need is provided to us. the only thing now that remains is for these bodies to be completely released so that we can bury them. and, for us, we would like, on behalf of my own community, to thank everybody for the support and the aroha that we are receiving and we would like to reiterate that when we go around, as muslims, we tell people that we are living in this most beautiful and peaceful country and we are aspiring ourselves as muslims to be the best example of
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muslims to be the best example of muslims in the world, so that if somebody is asked where can you find the best muslims, the most cohesive, the best muslims, the most cohesive, the most devout, they will say go and find them in new zealand. that's why what happened last friday is not going to stop us from aspiring to achieve what we say we are going to achieve. and i want to thank you all, you know, for being here, and i hope this incident that took place la st hope this incident that took place last friday in christchurch will never happen again anywhere in the world. thank you. thank you. thank you very much for being here this afternoon. the purpose of this meeting is really, through you, to communicate the message of peace and love and to also update you where we are in terms of dealing with the process of what has happened. we, in
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this country, have had, as a community, have had a very strong relationship with the police, unlike in many other countries, where we have the memorandum of understanding which was signed some 15 years ago, where we do, from time to time, when we are tested as a community, we do see the support coming from the police in a most positive manner possible. and i would like to, again, just thank the police, new zealand police, as well as the wider community, the support they have provided. 0ur community, the support they have provided. our focus, as community, the support they have provided. 0urfocus, as the president has iterated, is to look after our community and the people. and the process of burial, going forward. and then sitting down as a
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community, with all the stakeholders, and looking at how we can do things better. what areas, which areas we need to strengthen, and where we need to focus to build tomorrow's new zealand. thank you. in the name of god, the most compassionate, the most merciful. these are the most common words that muslims all around the world say all the time. we say it before we begin anything. in the name of god, the most compassionate, the most merciful. the events that took place last friday are beyond comprehension. and we, as a local muslim community, as a national muslim community, as a national muslim community, as a national muslim community, we as a community of new zealanders are reeling. 0ur role is to find out how do we bring
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back compassion into this scenario which was so devoid of compassion stop part of the way we do this, as a wider community, you have seen its expression around the country, the amazing vigils that have taken place. the fountains of flowers that have appeared outside mosques and islamic centres, the messages of hope and love and togetherness, but for us as a muslim community, part of the specific way in which we bring compassion to bear in this incident is the way in which we deal with the bodies of our beloved departed. so the process that we are right now is that we will be receiving the bodies once the coroner has released them. they will come into the arms and gaze of their family and then their family and community members will honour the
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body. we believe in the eternal spirit and the spirit of these beautiful people, men, women, children, who lost their lives is not dead, it is not gone, it is eternal. but the body that once them we respect and we honour. men will wash and prepare the men's bodies and women will wash and prepare the women's bodies. we treat the body as if it is still alive. we cover it. we use only one mortar. and we clea nse we use only one mortar. and we cleanse it, as we would before we we re cleanse it, as we would before we were about to pray. because we believe that the soul and the body are about to undertake a journey to god and this is a form of worship. 0nce god and this is a form of worship. once we have washed the body, we will wrap the body in pieces of white unsigned cloth —— un—sewn. we
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believe that when we return to god all that we take with us is the heart. everything else that we accumulated in life we live behind. and that is what the white cloth represent. after that the bodies are released to the family and the burial takes place. and through all of this we tried to remember that what we are bringing back to this tragedy, this horror, is a sense of compassion. and what has been remarkable about the local muslim community here is, you know, we have found incredible grief, but not hate. the response to so much hate has been love. it's been incredible. thank you.
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thank you. thank you, sister. are there any questions? my name is rob turner from the wall streetjournal newspaper. i have one question two, the president may be the best person, talking about the dignified burial process, but the gunman at the centre of this has just dropped his legal representation, which is raising some concern of a very undignified trial process, which he will use to espouse his views. i just wondered, how concerned is the community about the platform that this trial is going to present the gunman? i thank you. this trial is going to present the gunman? ithank you. i this trial is going to present the gunman? i thank you. i don't think i am in the right frame of mind to analyse, you know, what is going to happen. but what i can tell you is that as a community we would like
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that as a community we would like that person to go through the process , that person to go through the process, the due process, and to be given all his rights. but the message we would like to give to the rest of the world is that this rise in hatred, from those who call themselves right wing, whether it is smaller groups or through reckless politicians, it should not be allowed to continue. because what happened to our community here will happened to our community here will happen to another community or has been happening to other communities around the world. one thing we will try collectively to do is to make sure it never happens again. and this should involve everyone, ourselves, our government, all of us have to take ownership and make sure this doesn't happen. as far as this region is concerned, we believe the new zealand justice system to take its course. we believe in the justice system here and we believe
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it will do what is right. just for the deputy commissioner, from channel 7 in australia, what can you tell us about the two police officers who carried out this incredible arrest? we have seen some information come out overnights, we would like to hear more about what they were doing here. they were not from christchurch. yes. 0bviously the commissioner has expressed his absolute support and appreciation for the way they conducted themselves during a very intense and terrific time. those officers are receiving all the support that they can get from our health and well—being people. but at this point in time, of course, a loss of stress, a lot of trauma, understanding what they were confronted with, and so all i can say is that at this point in time they are getting all that they need. what were they doing here? we understand they are not from here, is that right? if they were here
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they were probably being deployed at they were probably being deployed at the time, once the announcement came over, everybody would have been shoulder to the wheel. indistinct. that was the deputy police commissioner in new zealand speaking along with members of the islamic federation association of new zealand. and, essentially what the press conference was about was the press conference was about was the speed of which they were working to try hard to return the bodies of those killed at friday's massacre to theirfamilies. we those killed at friday's massacre to their families. we heard those killed at friday's massacre to theirfamilies. we heard from members from the islamic federation association of new zealand essentially saying that they are working hard returning the bodies to the family so that with islamic tradition they can have a dignified and spiritual burial. we had them talk about that, essentially, and also thanking many members of the community for their support —— we
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heard of them. a loss of solidarity amongst people of new zealand. so essentially their big concern is what happens next to the bodies and thatis what happens next to the bodies and that is what they were trying to address in that press conference. there was also some breaking news just before the press conference about a christchurch teen who had been arrested for trying to distribute the video that was live streamed by the alleged killer as he shot the individuals in the mosque. so that is also another piece of breaking news to bring you up—to—date with. and you can find a lot more about any new developments in the mosque shootings and the investigation and plans for new gun laws in new zealand on the bbc website. that is all on bbc .com/ news. 0r website. that is all on bbc .com/ news. or you can download the news up news. or you can download the news up as well. that is it from me, sharanjit leyl, up as well. that is it from me, shara njit leyl, carey up as well. that is it from me, sharanjit leyl, carey christchurch, at the botanical gardens, where there is a large memorialfor the flowers that people continue to lay
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in support and solidarity of the muslim community. back over to you. sharanjit leao, thank you very much. giving us all of our coverage from christchurch on the aftermath of those terror attacks. let us get some other news. ethiopian's transport minister has said light data suggests clear similarities with the crush of indonesia in october last year. meanwhile, memorialservices indonesia in october last year. meanwhile, memorial services to remember the victims were held in addis ababa and nairobi. diplomats, relatives, and worshippers prayed for the 157 passengers who died in the crash last sunday. it was a sombre mood inside the ethiopian orthodox church in nairobi. it has been a difficult week for many of them, from learning about the plane crash to absorbing the tragedy of the loss.
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several governments sent their representatives to mourn with the bereaved — from neighbouring countries to as far away as russia. passengers from more than 30 countries were on board the ethiopian airlines flight from addis ababa to nairobi. in ethiopia, similar memorial ceremonies were held. relatives wept and threw themselves on the coffins of victims at the holy trinity cathedral in the capital, addis ababa. some of the coffins contained charred earth from the crash site, because it has not been possible to recover the bodies. families have been told it would take up to six months to identify the remains. translation: what makes us depressed is the fact we didn't find any of her body parts. she was very brilliant, hope and future for her family and country. translation: she was very kind to people. i don't know how to describe her. we are broken and bruised deeply. it's very difficult to speak. these people do not yet know why the plane carrying their loved ones crashed so tragically.

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