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President Tsai offers condolences to New Zealand attack victims

2019/03/15 23:01:21

Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文)/CNA file photo

Taipei, March 15 (CNA) President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) on Friday condemned the fatal shootings at two mosques in a coastal city in New Zealand that has left dozens of people killed.

She also expressed condolences to the victims and their families, according to Presidential Office spokesman Alex Huang (黃重諺).

Tsai was very concerned over the shooting incidents, and immediately instructed Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) to relay to New Zealand Representative to Taiwan Moira Turley her condolences and sympathies to the families of the victims, Huang said.

The president also expressed her concern for New Zealand's people, and said Taiwanese people stand in solidarity with New Zealand in fighting violence and terrorism, Huang said.

At least 49 people were killed while 20 others were seriously hurt in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch City, New Zealand on Friday. The shootings were live-streamed on the Internet by one of the gunman. Christchurch City has been in lockdown after those attacks.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) strongly condemned the "heartbreaking violence," its spokesperson Andrew Lee (李憲章) told CNA.

Lee said that it was Taiwan's position to respect religious freedom and to treat all human races equally. No one should be persecuted or made to feel afraid because of their religious belief and race, he added.

According to the initial information from Taiwan's representative office in New Zealand, no Taiwanese national was hurt in the shootings. MOFA will coordinate with New Zealand's local authorities and Taiwanese communities in the country to keep track of the developments.

(By Wen Kuei-hsiang, Elaine Hou and Emerson Lim)
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