Five Bangladeshis killed in NZ attacks: State minister

Bangla Tribune Report
Published : 18:40, Mar 17, 2019 | Updated : 18:50, Mar 17, 2019

Candles are flowers placed at a memorial site for victims of the mosque shootings are pictured at the Botanic Gardens in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 17, 2019. REUTERSAt least five Bangladeshis have been killed in Friday’s attacks on two New Zealand mosques, said Foreign Affairs State Minister Shahriar Alam.

The minister had earlier confirmed that four Bangladesh nationals died in the country’s worst mass killing.

According to unverified reports, another Bangladeshi Zakaria Bhuiyan was also among the 50 people killed in the attacks in Christchurch.

The state minister also said that the New Zealand government will be making travel arrangements for a close relative of each Bangladeshi victim of the Mar 15 terrorist attacks.

The other Bangladeshis, who died are – Dr Abdus Samad, Husne Ara Parvin, Mozammel and Omar Faruk.

According to ministry sources, New Zealand authorities will return the bodies to families on Monday local time 10am (Bangladesh time 3am).

“Among the four dead Bangladeshis, Dr Samad and Parvin are New Zealand citizens while Mozammel and Faruk are Bangladeshis,” Tarek Ahmed, the deputy chief of the Bangladesh High Commission in Australia, told Bangla Tribune on Sunday.

Dr Samad and Parvin will be buried in New Zealand, while the other three Bangladeshis will be bought back home.

Ahmed earlier said the New Zealand authorities were providing all sorts of assistance and if anyone wants to take the bodies of their loved one home, they will help making the arrangements.

The death toll in the New Zealand mosque shootings rose to 50 on Sunday after police found another body at one of the mosques, and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said bodies of those killed would begin to be released to families for burial.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday. Tarrant was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he was likely to face more charges, reports Reuters.

Friday's attack, which Ardern labelled as terrorism, was the worst ever peacetime mass killing in New Zealand and the country had raised its security threat level to the highest.

Footage of the attack was streamed live on Facebook, and a "manifesto" denouncing immigrants as "invaders" was also posted online via links to related social media accounts.

After narrowly escaping the massacre, Bangladesh's cricket team returned back home from New Zealand on Saturday.

A Singapore Airlines flight carrying the Tigers and the coaching staff landed at the Shahjalal International Airport at 10.45pm.

“We consider ourselves extremely lucky to have avoided the incident,” Bangladesh skipper Mahmuddulah told a brief media call at the Dhaka airport after landing.