Dhaka, Mar 15 (UNB) - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has urged the international community to ‘stand united against anti-Muslim hatred’ following a mass shooting in New Zealand on Friday targeting two mosques.
The shooting has left at least 49 dead, including three Bangladesh nationals, and many others wounded, some critically.
“I’m saddened and strongly condemn the shooting of innocent people as they prayed peacefully in mosques in New Zealand,” tweeted the UN chief, expressing his “deepest condolences to the victims’ families”.
“Today and every day, we must stand united against anti-Muslim hatred, and all forms of bigotry and terror,” he stressed.
A terrorist, who police have described as being in his late 20s, has been arrested and charged with murder, according to UN News.
According to news reports, he live-streamed himself via a head-mounted camera online, firing at worshippers inside the Al Noor mosque in the largest city on the South Island of New Zealand, Christchurch.
A second attack also took place at the city’s Linwood Mosque.
According to news reports, police have asked the public not to share the "extremely distressing" footage posted by the gunman online.
Meanwhile, Facebook has reportedly taken down the gunman's Facebook and Instagram accounts, which reportedly contained racist and anti-immigrant views.
Two other men and one woman were also reportedly detained in connection with the terror attacks, although one was subsequently released.
Other senior UN officials took to Twitter on Friday to express their condolences and horror at the attacks in New Zealand.
Antonio Vitorino, Director General of the International Organization for Migration, extended his “sincere condolences” to victims’ families and expressed deep sadness over “the terrible loss of life”, pointing out: “It is believed that among the dead and injured were many refugees and migrants”.
The UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, tweeted a picture of the New Zealand flag with a message saying that UNHCR stands “firmly with the people and government of New Zealand “in mourning, prayer and solidarity”.
“We grieve with children facing the profound shock that a parent is never coming home”, tweeted Henrietta Fore, Executive Director of the UN Children’s Fund. Saying “our hearts break with news”, she called the aggression “a senseless attack on a peaceful community and the universal right to freedom of worship”.
Sylhet, Mar 15 (UNB) – Desperately looking for her physically-challenged husband, she started rushing to the male section of the mosque from the female one as soon as the attacker started shooting devotees indiscriminately. However, she was shot before reaching her husband and died instantly.
Hosne Ara Parvin, 42, who along with 48 other people was killed in the deadly attacks on two mosques in Christchurch of New Zealand, laid down her life while trying to protect her husband Farid Uddin who is unable to move on his own, said her family members here.
Apart from Parvin, there are two other Bangladeshis among those killed in the terror attacks. They are Lincoln University teacher Dr Abdus Samad and his wife Kishowara. The couple along with their two children had been living in New Zealand for the last five years.
Dr Samad, hailing from Madhur Hailla village in Nageswari upazila of Kurigram, was a teacher of Bangladesh Agricultural University. Taking early retirement, he went to New Zealand five years back.
Quoting relatives living in New Zealand, Parvin’s elder sister Raushon Ara Begum said Parvin taking her husband on a wheelchair had gone to the mosque to offer Jum’a prayers around 15 minutes before the mass shootings began around 1:45pm, local time.
After dropping Farid at the male section of the mosque, she went to the female section.
Parvin, hailing from Jangalhata village of Golapganj upazila in the district, rushed off the female section as soon as she heard the sounds of shootings in a desperate bid to protect her husband. However, she was shot by the attacker and died on the spot.
A pall of gloom descended on the village following the death of the Bangladeshi woman in the shootings.
Meanwhile, Farid of Chakgram village in Biswanath upazila of the district escaped the attack as some devotees took him out of the mosque. He is now staying with his relatives in Christchurch, Raushon Ara said.
Officer-in-charge of Golapganj Police Station AKM Fazlul Haque Shibli said they visited Parvin’s house and talked to her relatives.
Dhaka, Mar 15 (UNB) – An eight-year-old girl was allegedly raped in the city’s Sabujbagh area on Friday.
Police arrested a 50-year-old man, Alam alias Forma Alam, over the incident, said Mafizul Alam, inspector (Investigation) of Mugda Police Station.
Victim’s mother claimed that their neighbour Rob, 50, seduced her daughter into going to his rented house at Dakkhingaon in the area around 9am where he violated her with the help of Alam.
The victim narrated the brutality to her mother when she asked her as she was bleeding profusely.
The girl was first taken to Mugda Hospital and later shifted to Dhaka Medical College Hospital, Mafizul said, adding that they were trying to arrest the rapist, Rob.
Sylhet, Mar 15 (UNB) - Apex Club Bangladesh on Friday held an anti-drug rally in the city aiming to spread the awareness message against drugs among the people.
The rally began at the city's Shaheed Minar premises and paraded all around the city.
Foreign Minister Dr AK Abdul Momen was present as the chief guest at the closing ceremony of this anti-drug rally.
Sylhet City Mayor Ariful Haque Chowdhury inaugurated the rally in the morning and was present at the closing ceremony as well.
National President of Apex Clubs of Bangladesh MA Kaium Chowdhury, national youth and citizenship director Saim Tipu, its international relations director AFM Enamul Haque Mamun, programme coordinator Ezaz Mahmud Rony and many others were also present on the occasion.
In his speech, the minister said that the government is now on zero tolerance against drugs.
The government’s lone effort is not enough to combat drugs, but only peoples’ awareness can help reducing the use of drugs in the society, he said.
Apex Clubs of Bangladesh has been working to create a drug free society since its inception.
In 1931, three Australian donors established Apex and its Bangladesh wing is working in the country since 1961 for the development of society. Apex Bangladesh is working in Bangladesh through 127 clubs in nine regions where around 3,000 active members are involved.
Dhaka, Mar 15 (UNB) – Islami Andolan Bangladesh (IAB) Ameer and Charmonair Pir Mufti Syed Muhammad Rezaul Karim on Friday urged the government not to increase the price of gas and electricity as the country’s people won’t be able to abide by the increasing price.
Rezaul Karim made the call while speaking as the chief guest at National Workers Convention of Islami Shramic Andolan (ISA) at Suhrawardi Uddan.
“So far, no changes have been made to the fate of the country’s labourers following corruption,” he said.
He also urged the government to take necessary steps to stop corruption before increasing gas or electricity prices. “Labours of different industries including garments sectors are deprived of fair wages after 48 years of independence,” he mentioned.
Still there is lack of good relation between the the owners and workers of the industries, he said adding, “That’s why labours are facing various problems, ever they don’t have any security. The country will not be developed if they don’t fulfill labours’ right.”
Socialism, democracy and secularism have failed to ensure people’s freedom, he said.
“Workers are being tortured in various ways nowadays. When labours demonstrate for fair rights, they have been laid off. However, the government must ensure labour rights and reduce the prices of essentials including gas,” he said.
Professor Ashraf Ali Akon, central president of ISA, presided over the function while its General Secretary Muhammad Khalilur Rahman and IAB Nayeb-e-Ameer Mufti Sayed Faizul Karim, among others, were present there.