Jusuf Kalla condemns shootings at two mosques in New Zealand


Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla denounced the brutal terrorist attacks on two mosques in Christchurch City, New Zealand, Friday, that killed at least 49 mosque-goers and instructed Ambassador Tantowi Yahya to locate three unaccounted Indonesians.

“We pray for the victims. We also strongly condemn the attackers. According to information, four people were involved in the shootings. It reveals that this crime was really well organized and well planned,” he stated in Jakarta on Friday.

Kalla believes that the shootings were well organized and planned criminal acts, as one of the attackers had even installed a camera to enable him to live-stream the shooting at his targeted mosque.

Kalla, general chairman of the Indonesian Mosques Council (DMI), also expressed condolences to the families, who had lost their loved ones.

Kalla admitted to feeling saddened by this Islamophobic terrorist attack, and to this end, had communicated with Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya.

Kalla said he had instructed Yahya to seek information on the three missing Indonesian citizens, who were inside the mosques for performing Friday prayers, when the assaults occurred.

“I have instructed our ambassador to keep monitoring and attempting to find the three Indonesians, who remain unaccounted for in the aftermath of the shooting incident,” he emphasized.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi stated that six Indonesian citizens were inside the mosque when the shootings occurred. Three of them survived the shootings, while three others remain unaccounted for.

Following the terrorist attacks, all Indonesians living in Christchurch and other cities in New Zealand have been advised to remain cautious and to maintain vigil. According to the Foreign Ministry, of the 331 Indonesians in Christchurch, 134 are students.

Marsudi confirmed that the Foreign Ministry’s officials had continued to coordinate with their colleagues at the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington to gain confirmation on the real condition of the three unaccounted Indonesians in the aftermath of the assaults.

“I have continued to keep in touch with our ambassador in Wellington to know the condition of our three citizens,” she remarked, adding that the Indonesian Embassy had also dispatched its team to Christchurch, which is some 440 kilometers away from Wellington.

The team members will coordinate with the New Zealand security authorities, hospitals, and the Indonesian Students Association (PPI) in Christchurch, she remarked.

Indonesian families seeking detailed information and consular assistance can contact hotline numbers — +64211950980 and +64 22 3812 065 — provided by the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington, New Zealand’s capital city.

This brutal terrorist attack was also condemned by Muslim community leaders in different parts of the world, including Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain Harun Khan.

“This is the most deadly Islamophobic terrorist attack we have experienced in recent times,” Khan was quoted by The Guardian as saying.

He also called for more police protection at UK mosques, The Guardian reported.

Reporting by Fransiska Ninditya, Rahmad Nasution

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