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New Zealand mosque survivor who lost wife in attack forgives shooter

A survivor in Christchurch's Muslim community, who was widowed in the recent mass shootings, expressed his desire to face his killer's family and extend his forgiveness on Monday (March 18).

Farid Ahmed, who was at the mosque on the day with his wife in the early afternoon for Friday prayers, recalled having to break the news of his wife’s death to his teenage daughter.

“She said are you telling me I don’t have a mother, I said yes. But I’m your mother now, I’m your father now,” Ahmed remembers telling his daughter.

“I want to hug him and say I have forgiven him,” said Ahmed about the lone gunman who killed 50 people and injured dozens, he added he wants to extend his forgiveness to the killer’s direct family members and treat them as if they were his own.

Ahmed, who is confined to a wheelchair witnessed members fall victim to gunfire, while others were trying desperately to escape. He eventually made it to safety with the help of bystanders, while his wife, Husna Ahmed, went back to help women and children who were with her in a separate section for female worshippers. Husna Ahmed did not survive the attack.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist, was charged with murder on Saturday (March 16). He was remanded without a plea and is due back in court on April 5 where police said he is likely to face more charges.

(Production: Fabian Hamacher, Parniyan Zemaryalai)

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