al-Noor mosque
Christchurch’s al-Noor mosque (photo by Farrukh via Creative Commons BY-NC 2.0)

Greenwich Council has opened a book of condolence at Woolwich Town Hall following the murders at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

49 people died and at least 20 have been seriously wounded after the attacks at the al-Noor mosque and Linwood Islamic Centre.

One of the attackers fired indiscriminately at men, women and children from close range inside the Al-Noor mosque while livestreaming it for social media.

The country’s prime minister, Jacinda Arden, called it one of New Zealand’s “darkest days”.

Housing cabinet member Chris Kirby and Lewisham, Greenwich and Bexley police superintendent Andy Carter, said in a joint statement: “The Royal Borough of Greenwich echoes Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in condemning those behind the cowardly and horrific terrorist attack in Christchurch, New Zealand.

“We utterly reject terrorism, oppression and the victimisation of others. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and the Muslim community in New Zealand and in our own borough at this tragic time. We stand in solidarity with our local Muslim brothers and sisters on this their day of prayer when they will mourn the loss of their own. We extend our deepest sympathies.”

The police presence has been stepped up at mosques across London ahead of Friday’s prayer services. Lewisham elected mayor Damien Egan addressed worshippers at Lewisham Islamic Centre earlier today.

Today’s news from Christchurch is deeply shocking & our thoughts go out to all the victims & their families.

Thank you @LewishamMosque for giving me the opportunity, with @TauseefAnwar07, to express Lewisham’s complete solidarity with our Muslim community. We stand together!

— Damien Egan (@damienegan) March 15, 2019

Woolwich Town Hall is open from 9am to 5.30pm on weekdays. The council has previously opened books of condolence for the victims of other murders by extremists, including the Manchester Arena attack in 2017, the truck attack on a Berlin Christmas market in 2016, and the murder of soldier Lee Rigby just yards from the town hall in May 2013.

An emergency appeal has been set up to help those affected by the Christchurch attacks.