Trump Condemns New Zealand Mosques ‘Massacre,’ Where 49 Died

(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said the U.S. stands with New Zealand following a mass shooting at two mosques that left 49 people dead, one of the largest mass shootings in recent history.

“My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques,” Trump wrote on Twitter Friday morning. “49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured.”

Trump’s comment followed a statement from White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders, where she said the U.S. “strongly condemns” the attacks, adding that “we stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate.”

One man has been charged with murder and should appear in a local court Saturday morning. Three other people were apprehended, though police haven’t said what their involvement may or may not be.

The scale of the killing is unprecedented in the country, where gun crimes are exceedingly rare. In 2017, the last year for which numbers are available, there were roughly 35 homicides and 13 deaths by manslaughter across the whole country of 5 million people. This attack surpassed that in one tragic afternoon.

One alleged shooter live-streamed part of the attack and posted a manifesto online, suggesting a racially motivated act of terrorism and identifying himself as an Australian. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern told reporters that the perpetrators held extremist views “that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world.”

“No one should have to fear such violence in their place of worship,“ U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo said in a statement posted to Twitter. “The American people mourn this tragedy together with our friends in New Zealand.”

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