2 kin of Christchurch victims die after killings: officials

Agence France-Presse

Posted at Mar 23 2019 04:14 PM

2 kin of Christchurch victims die after killings: officials 1
A policeman stands guard outside the Linwood Islamic Center which remains closed despite the reopening of the city's Al Noor mosque in Christchurch on March 23, 2019. William West, AFP

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand - A grief-stricken mother who had travelled to New Zealand after her son was gunned down in the Christchurch mosque massacre passed away overnight, officials said Saturday.

The woman, whose name was not available, was one of two relatives of shooting victims to die this week as the city's close-knit Muslim community reeled from the killings of 50 people by an Australian white supremacist more than a week ago.

Hafiz Junaid, an imam from the city of Auckland in northern New Zealand, told AFP that the mother of one of the victims came from Jordan following the tragedy.

Junaid said the woman was deeply distraught by her son's loss.

"Last night she went to bed and she did not wake up. She passed away," Junaid said.

A police spokesperson confirmed to AFP that one relative died from "a medical event," and that another also had died, but offered no further details in either case.

The attack also left dozens wounded, some in critical condition, but the police spokesperson confirmed that the death toll from the attacks remained at 50.

The larger of the two mosques attacked by the gunman let in small groups of worshippers for brief visits on Saturday for the first time since the tragedy, shortly after police handed the houses of worship back to the local Muslim community.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, has been charged with murder in the attack.