May 24, 2019
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Prince William praises New Zealand’s response to Christchurch terror attack

Sydney, Australia, Apr 26 (efe-epa).- Britain’s Prince William on Friday praised New Zealand’s response to the Christchurch terror attacks by an Australian white supremacist last month that killed 50 people and left another 50 wounded.

The Duke of Cambridge was speaking during a visit to the al-Noor mosque, one of the two Muslim religious centers that were the scenes of mass shootings during Friday prayers on Mar. 15.

“An act of violence was designed to change New Zealand, but instead, the grief of a nation revealed just how deep your wells of empathy, compassion, warmth and love, truly run," the prince said.

"The moral compass of the world was centered here in Christchurch; you showed the way we must respond to hate with love," he said in a speech that highlighted the example of the New Zealand prime minister, Jacinda Ardern, for her "extraordinary leadership with compassion and resolve, providing the example to us all".

The Prince also highlighted the actions of local leaders, security and emergency forces, as well as New Zealand citizens in the wake of the attack allegedly perpetrated by self-proclaimed white supremacist, Australian Brenton Tarrant, who is in custody.

"Extremism in all its forms must be defeated. The message from Christchurch and the message from al-Noor and Linwood mosques could not be more clear: the global ideology of hate will fail to divide us," William said.

The Duke of Cambridge was also able to talk to some of the relatives of the 50 fatal victims of shootings.

"We have to keep up hope and not surrender to hatred," Farid Ahmed, whose wife Husna died in the attack, told Prince William, according to Radio New Zealand.

In the morning before his visit to the mosque, the Prince visited Christchurch hospital; in the afternoon he was due to visit the Linwood mosque, as well as placing a wreath for the victims of the earthquake in 2011, in which 185 people died.

The prince, who is on a two-day visit to New Zealand on behalf of Queen Elizabeth II, also paid a visit on Thursday night to Alen Alsati, a girl who was seriously wounded in the attack and woke up from a coma this week at the Children's Hospital Starship in Auckland.

wat/ht/ks

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