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Mayor announces extra security at London mosques

EXTRA SECURITY: The mayor has announced an increased police presence in around mosques across the capital following the attacks in New Zealand

THE MAYOR of London has announced that extra security measures will be implemented in and around mosques in the capital following the fatal shootings in New Zealand.

At least 49 people have been killed and 20 wounded after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch.

Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old Australian, has been identified by local media as the gunman. He live-streamed the attack using a head-mounted camera.

Police have arrested and charged a man in his late 20s with murder. Another two men and one woman were also detained in connection with the shootings.

“I have been in touch with the Met Police. There will be highly visible policing around mosques today, as well as armed response officers, as Londoners go to pray,” Khan said in a statement.

Khan, who visited the East London Mosque today, described the attack as “heartbreaking” and said that London stands in solidarity with the Muslim community in New Zealand and around the world.

“The best solidarity is showing that our diversity is a strength. We may be more than 11,000 miles away from Christchurch in New Zealand but we feel the ripples of hatred, we feel the ripples of fear and we feel the ripples of sorrow for our brothers and sisters in Christchurch,” he said during a press briefing outside the East London Mosque.

He added: “Let us be under no illusion. This was a terrorist attack on innocent men, women and children, deliberately targeted because of the faith they belong to.”

The mayor has urged anyone with information about suspicious activity to contact the police.

Neil Basu, the national policing lead for counter terrorism, said the police were continuing to monitor events in New Zealand closely.

“Today we will be stepping up reassurance patrols around mosques and increasing engagement with communities of all faiths, giving advice on how people and places can protect themselves,” Basu said.

Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister of New Zealand, described the terrorist attack as one of the country’s “darkest days”.

Former US president Barack Obama is also among the prominent figures to respond to the attacks.

He tweeted: “Michelle and I send our condolences to the people of New Zealand. We grieve with you and the Muslim community. All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.”

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