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Trump offers 'warmest sympathy and best wishes' to New Zealand after mosque attack

Posted: 5:42 AM, Mar 15, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-15 12:54:32-04
Trump offers 'warmest sympathy and best wishes' to New Zealand after mosque attack

President Donald Trump on Friday expressed his condolences to the people of New Zealand following mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead.

"My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!" Trump tweeted.

The White House also condemned the shootings.

"The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families," press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement Friday morning.

She continued, "We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate."

National security adviser John Bolton said the US is "very concerned" and is following the events in New Zealand "very closely."

"We're obviously greatly disturbed on what seems to be a terror attack, this hate crime in New Zealand. We've been in touch with our embassy overnight, we're still getting details, but the State Department and others are following up on it," he told reporters Friday morning.

New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, called the incident a terrorist attack in a Friday press conference, saying the suspects held "extremist views" that have no place in New Zealand or the world.

Forty-one people were killed at the al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, said Mike Bush, New Zealand's Police Commissioner. Seven people died at the Linwood mosque on Linwood Avenue, and one person died from their injuries in the hospital.

Bush said four people were taken into custody -- three men and one woman. Police do not believe there are any other suspects but said it was still an open investigation. A man in his late 20s has been charged with murder and will appear at the Christchurch court Saturday morning local time, Bush said.

US Ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown also expressed his condolences and pledged US solidarity.

"We're heartbroken over the events in Christchurch today. We stand with our Kiwi friends and neighbors and our prayers are with you. Kia kaha," Brown tweeted.

The-CNN-Wire
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