Young children, refugees, parents, grandparents: Who were the victims of the Christchurch mosque massacre?

 sbs.com.au  3/15/2019 7:06:02 PM 

Children, parents, grandparents. The identities of some of those killed in the deadly shootings at two New Zealand mosques have emerged. According to reports, many died as heroes.

Updated

The death toll from the terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch has risen to 50 people as residents flocked to memorial sites and churches across the city Sunday to lay flowers and mourn the victims.

As the horror and heartbreak remains raw for those immediately impacted by the acts of terror, the world is struggling to comprehend the atrocities.

New Zealand police have not yet made public a list of the attack victims, but he names and identities of some of the people who lost their lives in Friday's terror attack have been revealed.

Who were the victims?

They include young children who were at the mosque to pray with their parents, a teenager who dreamed of becoming a footballer, a teacher, refugees who had found a new home in New Zealand, and nationals from Asia, Africa, and the Middle East.

Mucad Ibrahim, three

According to reports, Mucad Ibrahim, three, died in his father's arms.

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Three-year-old Mucad Ibrahim was "energetic, playful and liked to smile and laugh a lot".

The toddler, believed to be the youngest victim of the massacre, was with his father and older brother Abdi at the Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue when the gunman opened fire.

Abdi, who is in his twenties, told NZ news outlet Stuff.co.nz that his father pretended to be dead after being shot, but Abdi couldn't find Mucad as he fled the scene. The family, in vain, searched for Mucad at Christchurch hospital.

He described his younger brother as "energetic, playful and liked to smile and laugh a lot".

The family later posted a photo of Mucad with Abdi, with the caption including the message: "I am to God and to him we shall return".

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
This photo of Mucad and Abdi was posted on Abdi's Facebook page, along with the message: "this is not who we are."

Abdullahi Dirie, four

The four-year-old was at the mosque with his father and four older siblings. Abdullahi Dirie's family were able to flee the melee, but Abdullahi was caught in the crossfire. His uncle, 60-year-old Abdulrahman Hashi, told journalists that the young boy suffered gunshot wounds and later died in hospital.

“You cannot imagine how I feel,” he told the Washington Post.

“He was the youngest in the family.

The family fled Somalia in the mid-1990s as refugees. New Zealand had been their home for more than 20 years.

Sayyad Milne, 14

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Sayyad Milne has been described as a "brave" and "kind" boy who had just turned 14.

Sayyad Milne dreamed of one day being a footballer, and has been described as a "good-natured" and "kind" teenager.

The high school student was at the Al Noor mosque for Friday prayers when the attack began.

His grieving father, John Milne, described his son to local reporters through tears.

“I’ve lost my little boy, he’s just turned 14 ... I remember him as my baby who I nearly lost when he was born," Mr Milne said.

"He’s very brave. It’s so hard … to see him just gunned down by someone who didn’t care about anyone or anything. I know where he is. I know he’s at peace.”

"He was a loving and kind brother and will be greatly missed," added his sister, Cahaya.

Husna Ahmed, 45

Mrs Ahmed was reportedly killed after rushing inside the mosque to check on her husband.

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Husna Ahmed, 45, was killed trying to protect her husband and after she helped children and women flee the shooting.

She was in the women's section of the mosque when she heard the gunfire. After reportedly helping some children escape, she went inside to protect her wheelchair-bound husband, Farid Ahmed.

Mr Ahmed told SBS News his wife died a hero.

"This missing is not just going to be for one day, it is going to be for the rest of my life," he said.

"But on the other hand I feel proud of her because she was courageous - she was in bad situation, she was trying to help some other ladies."

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Farid Uddin Ahmed told SBS News his wife, Husna Ahmed was shot dead when she went inside the mosque to check on him.

Daoud Nabi, 71

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Daoud Nabi was killed in Friday's attack on Christchurch. His son said his father was a strong advocate for unity.

Mr Nabi had lived in Christchurch for more than 40 years, after escaping the Soviet-Afghan war in Afghanistan in 1977, and seeking asylum in New Zealand.

His son, Omar, confirmed his death, and told Al-Jazeera that his father had preached the importance of unity just days before the shooting.

"My father said how important it is to spread love and unity among each other, and protect every member of the society we live in," Omar Nabi said.

Naeem Rashid and Talha Rashid

Naeem Rashid, 50, and son Talha, 21, were both killed inside the Al Noor mosque. Naeem Rashid is seen on the 

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Naeem Rashid is being remembered as a hero. He is said to have tried to tackle the gunman after his son, Talha, was shot dead.
terror attack live stream trying to tackle the gunman.

He is being remembered as a hero.

"He was a brave person, and I've heard from a few people there, there were few witnesses. They've said he saved a few lives there by trying to stop that guy," brother Khurshid Alam told the BBC.

Pakistan's Ministry of Public Affairs confirmed both their deaths in a tweet.

Naeem Rashid was a teacher in Christchurch and was from Abbottabad, Pakistan. Talha Rashid was 11 when his family moved to New Zealand. He reportedly had a new job and was set to get married.

Junaid Mortara, 35

Junaid Mortara owned a local convenience store, which he inherited from his father, and was a staple in the community. The 35-year-old has been remembered as a "gentle" man who supported his mother, wife and three young children.

Mr Mortara was killed in the attack on the Al Noor mosque. His store has been covered in flowers.

He was an avid cricket fan, and loved the Canterbury cricket club.

Syed Areeb Ahmed

Syed Areeb Ahmed had recently moved from Pakistan for a job in New Zealand, to support his family.

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
The uncle of Syed Areeb Ahmed, a Pakistani citizen who was killed the Christchurch mosque shooting, shows a photo of the accountant.

The Pakistani foreign ministry informed his family that Mr Ahmed was among those killed.

He has been described as a deeply religious man who valued education.

"He had done charted accountancy from Pakistan," recalled his uncle Muhammad Muzaffar Khan.

"He was the only son to his parents. He had only one younger sister ... He had only started his career, but the enemies took his life."

Farhaj Ahsan, 30

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Farhaj Ahsan had a wife and two young children. He was 30-year-old.

Farhaj Ahsan was a software engineer from Hyderabad, India. He moved to New Zealand six years ago.

He was married with a three-year-old daughter and infant son.

"We received the disturbing news," Mr Ahsan's father, Mohammed Sayeeduddin told the the Mumbai Mirror.

Friends and family had been trying to reach Ahsan since the attack was first reported. He is believed to have been inside the mosque when the gunman entered.

It is with a heavy heart that I have to inform that Farhaj Ahsan, one of the two Hyderabadi #ChristChurch victims has passed away. He’s left behind his parents, spouse & children

I request everyone to pray for Farhaj & his family, as they deal with this great difficulty

— Asaduddin Owaisi (@asadowaisi) March 16, 2019

Ali Elmadani

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Ali Elmandi was a retired electrical engineer who is said to have been a loving and caring father.

Mr Elmadani and his wife immigrated to New Zealand from the United Arab Emirates in 1998.

He worked in Christchurch as an electrical engineer and retired in recent years.

His daughter, Maha, told Stuff.co.nz that he always told his children to be strong and patient.

"He considered New Zealand home and never thought something like this would happen here," she said.

Khaled Mustafa

Khaled Mustafa was a Syrian refugee, who only arrived in New Zealand in 2018 with his family.

He was at the mosque with his two sons for Friday prayers.

The Syrian Solidarity New Zealand group told local media that his wife was "devastated and deeply horrified".

"Khaled Mustafa is a Syrian Refugee who has come with his family (wife and three children) to NZ, which they thought was the safe heaven," a spokesman said.

Hamza Mustafa, 16
Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Khaled Mustafa was married with three children. He arrived in NZ as a refugee in 2018.

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Hamza Mustafa was in high school and had only recently moved to New Zealand as a refugee.

Khaled's son, Hamza Mustafa, was also killed in the attack.

His mother confirmed both the death of Hamza and Khaled. Hamza's brother Zaid was injured, and is in hospital in a stable condition. 

Both boys were students of Cashmere High School.

Lilik Abdul Hamid

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
Lilik Abdul Hamid had two children and worked as an engineer with Air New Zealand for 16 years.

Lilik Abdul Hamid worked for Air New Zealand as an engineer. He had a young family, including two children.

Air New Zealand CEO Christopher Luxon confirmed Mr Hamid's death, saying in a statement that the airline was devastated.

"The friendships he made at that time led him to apply for a role in Air New Zealand and make the move to Christchurch. His loss will be deeply felt by the team," Mr Luxon said.

"Lilik, his wife Nina and their children Zhania and Gerin are well known and loved by our close-knit team of engineers and their families, who are now doing all they can to support the family alongside our leadership team and the airline's special assistance team."

Atta Elayyan, 33

Christchurch terror: who were the victims?
App designer and Futsal Whites' goalkeeper, Atta Elayyan, was murdered while he was praying.

Atta Elayyan was a goalkeeper for New Zealand's national futsal team. He represented Canterbury in club competitions.

He was shot dead while praying inside the mosque on Friday.

Mr Elayyan was an app designer, and CEO of LazywormApps

Many victims were overseas nationals

Several of those killed or wounded in the deadly shootings at two New Zealand mosques were from the Middle East or South Asia.

The live-streamed attack on Friday killed at least 50 people as they gathered for weekly prayers in Christchurch. Another 48 people suffered gunshot wounds in the attacks.

Police have urged survivors to update an online register with confirmation that they are alive and also if a loved one is missing. The New Zealand Red Cross published a list of missing people, representing nationalities including those from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, India, Jordan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia.

2/6 The RFL website is a tool where the public can self-register they are alive so family and friends know they are safe. Members of the public can also register missing persons. Police will be working with New Zealand Red Cross who is managing the website, making all...

— New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019

Bangladesh's honorary consul in Auckland, Shafiqur Rahman Bhuiyan, told The Associated Press that "so far" three Bangladeshis were among those killed and four or five others were wounded, including two left in critical condition.

"One leg of an injured needed to be amputated while another suffered bullet injuries in his chest," Rahman Bhuiyan said. He declined to identify the dead or wounded.

Two Jordanians were among those killed, the Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by the state-run Petra news service.

Foreign Ministry spokesman Sufian Qudah had earlier said that a Jordanian man was killed and eight others were wounded.

Pakistan's Foreign Ministry said four Pakistanis were wounded, and spokesman Mohammad Faisal tweeted that five other Pakistani citizens are missing after Friday's attacks.

Malaysia said two of its citizens were hospitalised, and the Saudi Embassy in Wellington said two Saudis were wounded.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed at least three Turkish citizens were wounded in the attacks in New Zealand and that he has spoken to one of them.

Two Indonesians, a father and son, were also among those shot and wounded, Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said.

Nasir said the father is being treated at an intensive care unit and his son is in another ward at the same hospital. He declined to identify them.

The man's wife, Alta Marie, posted on Facebook that her husband and their son are both alive, but wounded.

Marie said that both were shot in the attack Friday at Christchurch's Linwood Islamic centre.

"My husband was shot in multiple places and has a drain in his lung," she wrote on Facebook. She said she was with her son, who is "traumatised" after being shot in his back and leg.

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