TEHRAN (Press Shia) – French authorities have stepped up security measures near religious sites after deadly attacks against two mosques in New Zealand left 49 people dead, Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said on Friday.
“Patrols will be held around religious sites,” Castaner said on his official Twitter account.
At least one gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 during the Friday prayer at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in an act that was qualified as terrorism by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
A gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a “manifesto” in which he denounced immigrants, Reuters reported.
France is home to the largest Muslim minority population in Western Europe and suffered deadly Islamist militant attacks in 2015 and 2016.
Also, London Mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed solidarity with the people of New Zealand following attacks on worshippers attending prayers at two Christchurch mosques.
Khan, said in a statement Friday that the news is “heartbreaking.”
“London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack. London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy,” he said.
Khan sought to reassure Muslim communities in London following the attacks, saying that the Metropolitan Police would be visible outside mosques.
London mosques have been targeted in the past. One man died and several others were injured in 2017 when Darren Osborne drove a van into people leaving evening prayers. Prosecutors say Osborne was motivated by a hatred of Muslims and been radicalized by far-right propaganda he found online.