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Tuesday June 25th, 2019 2:33PM

The Latest: France increases security at mosques

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):

12:20 p.m.

France is increasing security measures at mosques and other religious sites after the deadly attack against two mosques in New Zealand.

French Interior Minister Christophe Castaner tweeted Friday that he ordered regional prefects to send patrols and reinforce surveillance of places of worship "as a precaution."

French President Emmanuel Macron, also in a tweet, denounced the "odious crimes against the mosques in New Zealand" and said that France will work with international partners to fight terrorism.

The rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris condemned the attack in Christchurch, which left at least 49 dead.

France is home to western Europe's largest Muslim community. While French Muslim and Jewish sites are sporadically targeted by vandals, France has not seen a major attack on mosques of the kind that targeted New Zealand.

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12:15 p.m.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has expressed solidarity with the people of New Zealand following attacks on worshippers attending prayers at two Christchurch mosques.

Khan, said in a statement Friday that the news is "heartbreaking."

He says: "London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack. London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy."

Khan sought to reassure Muslim communities in London following the attacks, saying that the Metropolitan Police would be visible outside mosques.

London mosques have been targeted in the past. One man died and several others were injured in 2017 when Darren Osborne drove a van into people leaving evening prayers. Prosecutors say Osborne was motivated by a hatred of Muslims and been radicalized by far-right propaganda he found online.

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12:10 p.m.

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez says he's shocked at the "terrible attacks" that killed dozens of worshippers attending Friday prayers in two mosques of New Zealand's capital, Christchurch.

In a tweet sent on Friday, Sanchez sent condolences to the victims, its families and the government of New Zealand.

"We emphatically condemn violence and the lack of reason of fanatics and extremists who want to break our societies," Sanchez has written.

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12:05 p.m.

Germany's foreign minister says the attacks on two mosques in Christchurch are a "brutal crime" that touches people of all religions around the world.

In two tweets, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said Friday Germany's sympathies were with the friends and families of the victims of the attack.

He says "the horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch targeted peacefully praying Muslims — if people are murdered solely because of their religion, that is an attack on all of us."

Maas says "we stand at the side of the victims. Stay strong New Zealand!"

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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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