New Zealand holds two-minute silence for shooting victims

New Zealand has held a national two-minute silence exactly a week after the shootings in Christchurch.

Jacinda Ardern joined thousands of mourners near the Al-Noor mosque, one of two places of worship targeted in last Friday’s attacks.

The call to prayer and subsequent silence was also broadcast on television and radio with thousands tuning in.

In an address beforehand, Ms Ardern said: ‘New Zealand mourns with you, we are one.

‘According to the Prophet Muhammad the believers in their mutual kindness, compassion and sympathy are just like one body. When any part of the body suffers, the whole body feels pain.’

Imam Gamal Fouda, who led the prayers, said: ‘We are broken-hearted, but we are not broken.’

In total, 50 people were killed and dozens more wounded in the attacks.

Earlier, Ms Ardern urged as many New Zealanders as possible to use the day to pause and reflect.

She said: ‘I know many New Zealanders wish to mark the week that has passed since the terrorist attack and to support the Muslim community as they return to mosques.

‘How we choose to reflect during the silence will be different for each of us. Everyone should do what feels right for them, wherever they are – at home, at work, at school.’

A social media campaign has urged non-Muslim women in New Zealand to wear a headscarf for the day.

In Malta, the victims of Christchurch terror attack were remembered at Paola mosque.

The gathering was attended by a number of politicians, including Deputy Prime Minister Chris Fearne.

In London, The Princess Royal paid her respects by signing the Book of Condolence at New Zealand House.

She wrote: ‘My fond memories of a friendly city I remember with affection. I can only offer my thoughts and prayers to the victims, families, friends and all the people of New Zealand.’

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