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Messages of solidarity and tributes pay respect to New Zealand mosque shootings victims

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By Cristina Abellan Matamoros
Messages of solidarity and tributes pay respect to New Zealand mosque shootings victims
Copyright  Reuters   -  

Dozens laid flowers near the mosques in New Zealand where 50 people were killed in mass shootings by a suspected white supremacist.

Tributes poured in from Pakistan to London, where protesters held a march chanting "refugees are welcome here". Watch the video in the player above to see the tributes.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern hugged members of the Muslim community at a refugee centre in Christchurch on Saturday, promising she would ensure freedom of religion for all: "I convey the message of love and support on behalf of New Zealand to all of you,” she said.

Most of the victims of the attacks were immigrants from Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia, Turkey, Somalia and Afghanistan.

Members of New Zealand’s Muslim Association in Auckland travelled to Christchurch to help with Muslim funeral rites, which consists of washing the bodies, wrapping them in white cloth and moving them to the cemetery.

However, because none of the bodies have been returned to the victims’ families because of the investigation, many having been unable to bury their dead within the 24 hours customary in Islam.

Footage of the attack live streamed on Facebook showed the gunman entering the mosque and shooting randomly at people.

Police said three people were in custody including a man in his late 20s who's been charged with murder.

Among the wounded, two were in critical condition, including a four-year-old child, said Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

One of the images most widely shared on social media in solidarity with New Zealand is a cartoon of a kiwi, the country's national bird, crying.

People have also been laying flowers outside of mosques in other parts of New Zealand in solidarity with the victims and their famlies.