Christchurch shooting attack survivors offered New Zealand residency

A police officer stands guard outside Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Reuters)
Updated 23 April 2019
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Christchurch shooting attack survivors offered New Zealand residency

  • The government had said it was considering giving visas to survivors, but no decision was announced

WELLINGTON: New Zealand will grant permanent residency to all survivors of the mass shooting at two Christchurch mosques in which 50 Muslim worshippers were killed, it said on Tuesday.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, has been charged with 50 counts of murder for New Zealand’s worst peacetime mass shooting in which 50 other people at Friday prayers were wounded.

The government had said it was considering giving visas to survivors, but no decision was announced. Tuesday’s news was only released as a link on the immigration website, which some say was done to avoid any backlash by opponents of immigration.

Immigration New Zealand said a new visa category called the Christchurch Response (2019) visa had been created. People who were present at the mosques when they were attacked on March 15 can apply, as can immediate family members.

Applicants must have been living in New Zealand on the day of the attack, so the visa will not be available to tourists or short-term visitors. Applications can be made from Wednesday.

A Sri Lankan minister said on Tuesday that the Easter bombings at churches and hotels that killed 321 people appeared to be retaliation for the New Zealand mosque attacks.


Serbian interior ministry says Lufthansa bomb threat was fake

Updated 39 min 27 sec ago
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Serbian interior ministry says Lufthansa bomb threat was fake

  • The bomb threat was found to be false after checks on board the plane

BELGRADE: The Serbian interior ministry said a bomb threat which prompted the evacuation of a Lufthansa plane bound for Frankfurt on Thursday morning was fake.
Serbian state TV reported that 130 passengers and five crew members had been evacuated after boarding the 6.15 a.m. (0415 GMT) HL 1411 flight, and the plane was taken off the runway. Special police units were deployed to search the plane.
An interior ministry spokesman confirmed to Reuters that the bomb threat was found to be false after checks on board the plane.
“This morning at 6 a.m. an unknown person called and reported there was a bomb on the plane bound for Frankfurt,” a ministry statement had said earlier in the day.
A Lufthansa spokesman confirmed the plane was being checked by authorities.