There were emotional scenes outside a New Zealand mosque today as the country’s Prime Minister embraced crowds – just days after a shooter massacred dozens of worshipers at Friday prayer.
Jacinda Ardern visited the Kilbirnie mosque to comfort those affected by the tragic shooting which saw 50 worshipers including children, a renowned heart surgeon and a talented sportsman shot dead as they prayed.
White supremacist Brenton Tarrant live-streamed the sickening attack on Facebook in which he allegedly killed dozens of Muslims during Friday prayers using four guns at two mosques.
He subsequently appeared smirking in court charged with murder on Saturday morning, after allegedly opening fire inside the Al Noor Mosque before driving to the Linwood Masjid Mosque across town and continuing his rampage.
It has now emerged that his extremist views may have been fueled by a trip to Britain, which he made during a two-month-tour of Europe.
With The Sunday Telegraph quoting a senior government source as saying he ‘transitted’ through Britain in 2017, staying ‘for a few weeks’.
The newspaper claims that in the summer of 2017, Tarrant hired a car in eastern France where he visited war graves, before heading to the UK possibly by ferry.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugs a mosque-goer at the Kilbirnie Mosque on Sunday, as she meets with members of the Islamic community
Ms Ardern (pictured with a mosque-goer) visited the Wellington based mosque to pay her respects and comfort those affected by the tragedy – New Zealand’s worst ever mass shooting
The Prime Minister lays a wreath at the mosque, as 50 people are confirmed dead following the tragic shooting including children, a renowned heart surgeon and a talented sportsman
Ms Ardern was greeted by members of the Islamic community as she visited the Kilbirnie Mosque. Her visit comes days after a shooter massacred dozens of worshipers at Friday prayer at two mosques in Christchurch
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and finance minister Grant Robertson look on at the Kilbirnie Mosque, among hundreds of other mourners who arrived to pay their respects
Mourners also gathered outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch on Sunday to lay flowers and tributes to the dead
A large pile of tributes begins to form outside the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, one of the locations where Australian Brenton Tarrant is said to have opened fire on worshippers at Friday prayer