Five Indians were among the 50 people killed by a white supremacist, who opened fire on worshippers at two mosques in Christchurch, in the worst attack on Muslims in New Zealand, the Indian High Commission said on Sunday.
The attacker, identified by authorities as Australia-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, reportedly targeted immigrants during Friday prayers. Witnesses said that victims were shot at close range.
The high commission confirmed on Sunday that five Indians were killed in the attack.
“With a very heavy heart we share the news of loss of precious lives of our 5 nationals in ghastly terror attack in #Christchurch,” it tweeted.
It identified them as: Maheboob Khokhar; Ramiz Vora; Asif Vora; Ansi Alibava; and Ozair Kadir.
In another tweet later, the high commission informed that Immigration NZ has set up a dedicated webpage to expedite visa for family members of Christchurch victims.
On Friday, shortly after the attack, India’s High Commissioner in New Zealand Sanjiv Kohli had tweeted that “there are 9 missing persons of Indian nationality/origin”. But, he had added, official confirmation was awaited.
About 200,000 Indian and Indian-origin people live in New Zealand. Over 30,000 of them are students, according to the Indian High Commission’s data available on its website.