The Indian High Commission in New Zealand confirmed on Sunday that five Indians were among the 50 who were killed in a terror attack on two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.

Australia-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, opened fire on Muslim faithful inside the Masjid Al Noor and Linwood mosques with an assault rifle killing many and injuring scores of others in what has been described as the worst attack on Muslims in New Zealand.

“With a very heavy heart we share the news of loss of precious lives of our 5 nationals in ghastly terror attack in #Christchurch,” it tweeted.

 

The five were identified as Maheboob Khokhar, Ramiz Vora, Asif Vora, Ansi Alibava, and Ozair Kadir.

“Our helpline numbers (021803899 & 021850033) will remain available round the clock to assist families as we together cope with our shared grief,” the Indian High Commission tweeted.

“We deeply mourn loss of all other innocent lives including people of Indian origin,” it added.

People in need of assistance while transiting through Auckland have been advised to contact the Consul at 021531212.

The High Commission also shared the names and numbers of members of Group of Community leaders constituted in Christchurch.

 

Shortly after the attack, India’s High Commissioner in New Zealand Sanjiv Kohli had tweeted that “there are 9 missing persons of indian nationality/origin”. But, he added, official confirmation was awaited.

Tarrant had in his 74-page manifesto posted online described himself as a white supremacist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called the attack terrorism. On Sunday, Ardern said that she received the Christchurch gunman’s ‘manifesto’ barely nine minutes before the attack.

The attacker was brought down within 36 minutes, she told the press, as she announced a crucial cabinet meet on Monday.

Ardern has vowed to change the country’s gun laws and to uncover how a noted extremist legally purchased two semi-automatic weapons, reportedly AR-15s, two shotguns and a lever-action gun without drawing the attention of the authorities.

New Zealand authorities said 34 people remain in hospital, being treated for injuries.

Expressing India’s solidarity with the people of New Zealand, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.

About 200,000 Indian and Indian-origin people live in New Zealand. Over 30,000 of them are students, according to the Indian High Commission’s data available on its website.