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Security at US mosques tightened after Christchurch terror attacks

ANI  |  US 

Security at mosques across the US was beefed up on Friday following the deadly mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand's city which killed 49 people.

Law enforcement officials and political leaders condemned the terror attacks and assured the Muslim community that they would be protected while they continue to practice their faith freely, Times reported.

Nihad Awad, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said that Muslims across the were united against hate speech, adding that the attacks were a part of the rising incidents of intolerance in the US and abroad.

"We are united against hate speech that sees immigrants as invaders. One should not tolerate hate speech because hate speech leads to Now we are looking at the result of hate speech," he said.

In and other major cities in the country, security was beefed up around mosques. city informed that police presence was increased throughout the city "out of an abundance of caution."

"New Yorkers heading to prayer can be confident that their city will protect them," he said.

In Pittsburgh, have been in contact with local Islamic leaders and increased patrols at mosques and other surrounding areas.

"will protect all houses of worship and the right to freely and safely practice your religion without fear," an said.

In St. Paul, Minnesota's capital, which houses a large Muslim community, the police assured the people that they "would do everything possible" to keep them safe and protected.

"We want our Muslim family members, friends and neighbours to know that we'll do everything possible to keep you safe and secure in the city we share," the city's police department wrote on their handle.

In the worst ever terror attack in New Zealand, multiple gunmen carried out indiscriminate shootings at two mosques in during the Friday prayers, leaving 49 people dead and at least 48 wounded, besides giving a scare to the cricket team which had a narrow escape.

Using automatic weapons, the gunmen, four of whom have been taken into custody, launched a "well-planned" attack on the mosques when devotees had assembled for the weekly prayers, reported.

Members of the cricket team, who were in for the third Test match with the hosts, had a narrow escape as they were barred from getting off their bus when they arrived to offer prayers at the Al Noor which was attacked. Meanwhile, the Test scheduled to start on Saturday was cancelled with immediate effect.

According to the police, 41 people were killed at Al Noor and seven at Linwood while one injured died in hospital.

Several guns have been recovered from both mosques, while, two were found on two vehicles at the scene, one of which was defused, the police confirmed.

hospital alone is currently treating 48 people, from young children to adults, with gunshot wounds.

Strongly condemning the terror attacks, US wrote on Twitter: "My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. The US stands by for anything we can do.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 16 2019. 01:13 IST