FO says four Pakistani nationals hurt, five missing in NZ mosque attacks


ISLAMABAD: The Foreign Office of Pakistan said Friday that four Pakistani nationals were injured, while five were still missing after the horrific terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

The wounded Pakistani nationals had been admitted to hospital, said Dr Mohammad Faisal, a spokesman for the Foreign Office of Pakistan.

He said the names of missing Pakistani citizens were not yet available, adding, “It is hoped that missing [Pakistani] individuals will soon be located.”

Attacks on the two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead Friday, with one gunman — identified as an Australian extremist — apparently livestreaming the assault that triggered the lockdown of the New Zealand city.

In what appeared to be the worst attack against Muslims in a western country, witnesses spoke of victims being shot at close range, with women and children believed to be among those killed.

The gunman at one mosque was an Australian-born citizen, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in Sydney, describing him as “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.

It was not immediately clear how many attackers were involved, but New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said three men had been taken into custody and added that they were on the security watchlist.

Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were also found and neutralised by the military, police said.