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Wednesday March 20th, 2019 3:35PM

The Latest: Turkish leader calls for quick action on racism

By The Associated Press
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ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — The Latest on global reaction to the deadly shootings in two mosques in New Zealand (all times local):

12:05 p.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is calling on Western nations to rapidly take measures to curb rising racism against Islam and Muslims, saying new attacks such as the mass shootings in New Zealand would otherwise be "inevitable."

Speaking at the funeral of a former minister on Friday, Erdogan renewed his condemnation of the attack on two mosques in Christchurch.

Erdogan said: "It is clear that the understanding that the murderer — who also targeted our country, our people and my person — represented, has rapidly started to take over Western communities like a cancer." It was an apparent reference to reports that a suspect had left behind a 74-page manifesto that also threatened Turks.

Erdogan continued: "I call on Western countries especially to rapidly take measures against this dangerous turn that threatens the whole of humanity."

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11:35 a.m.

Pakistan's prime minister has condemned attacks on two mosques in New Zealand, saying he blames rising Islamophobia.

Imran Khan wrote Friday on Twitter that "terrorism does not have a religion."

He added: "I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim."

Pakistani officials say there are no Pakistani citizens among the dead.

Pakistan has witnessed several attacks on places of worship in the past decade, especially targeting its minority Shiite community.

Taiwanese President Tsai Ing-wen also tweeted her condolences.

Tsai said: "I'm utterly saddened by the mass shooting in Christchurch, #NewZealand. My thoughts go to the victims & their families."

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10:50 a.m.

A top diplomat in the United Arab Emirates is offering his condolences over an attack on mosques in New Zealand that killed at least 40 people.

Anwar Gargash, the UAE's minister of state for foreign affairs, tweeted "heartfelt condolences" to New Zealand on Friday.

Gargash wrote: "Our collective work against violence & hate must continue with renewed vigor. Our thoughts & prayers are with the families of the victims."

The UAE, a federation of seven sheikhdoms on the Arabian Peninsula, is home to expatriate workers from Australia and New Zealand. The country is a staunch Western ally.

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10:25 a.m.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has condemned the attacks on mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch calling it the "latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia."

Tweeting in English and Turkish on Friday, Erdogan said: "On behalf of my country, I offer my condolences to the Islamic world and the people of New Zealand, who have been targeted by this deplorable act."

He also wished a speedy recovery to the wounded.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has said 40 people were killed in the attack on two mosques.

Turkey's private NTV news channel quoted Turkish embassy officials as saying there are no Turkish citizens among the dead.

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