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16 March, 2019 09:28:45 AM / LAST MODIFIED: 16 March, 2019 10:09:41 AM

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Harrowing experience of a survivor

Staff Reporter, Dhaka
Harrowing experience of a survivor

Mohon Ibne Ibrahim, one of the survivors of the deadly terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch of New Zealand, narrated his harrowing experience to Independent Television hours after the attacks that left 49 people dead yesterday.

His story has been translated into English for The Independent readers. The story is as follows: I was in the front row of the mosque where the attacker continued firing on those on the threshold of the mosque and entered it.

The video footage, you might have seen, shows it is a big mosque in Christchurch. The shooter continued; primarily I thought it was the sound of a short circuit. Soon my sense dawned on me to know that it was gun attack.

There was a passage leading to the ladies entrance on the right and the devotees rushed out of the compound through the ladies’ section, he added saying that past the parking lot in the backyard of the mosque they ran and jumped over the wall into another estate.

I was still hearing the gunshots aloud. The shooter entered inside the mosque and finished firing his magazine. He came out of the mosque and reloaded his gun. He went back for the second time to kill the rest of the prayees. His shooting was preplanned.

The shooting went on for about 15 minutes. In the meantime, police and ambulance came in the spot.

Using another street we came to the mosque and attempted to go near it but we were not allowed to go closer to the crime scene.

Then I saw many injured people on the street because the killer had randomly shot at people on the street. A person was being treated on the street.

Later the same killer with same man went to another mosque for killing. Prayer starts at 2:00pm. The incident took place at 1:45pm when all the prayees didn’t reach. Once the shooting was over Bangladesh cricket team had just arrived in. The players were asked to get off the bus and asked to leave the place through Hagley Park. I was there for a many hours. I saw many community members whom I used to pray together were no more.

No one here could recognise the attackers because they ambushed randomly here and there. Only one shooter went on firing on the prayees. The same man went to another mosque at a 15-minute drive. We called the known Bengali community members there urging them to stay safe because the terrorist went there to attack. Police, in the mean time, might have arrested them but I didn’t see them face to face.   

When asked about his community Mohon said many Bengali community members live in the Christchurch. Friday prayer gives ample scope for the community for socialization. It is a special prayer everyone knows. After shooting the whole area is blocked including the shopping malls for security reasons. Everything was closed around the area.

On being asked about the security for the Bengalis he said, there is no special treatment for Bengali community. I asked the police about my wallet left in the vehicle parked around the mosque police said four of the nine shooters were arrested so it was not safe to drive around. More attackers might have been on the prowl.  Police took my identity details. One of my friends dropped me in my residence.

The situation is shaky and it is not safe to be around. New Zealand is usually safe but now we don’t feel safe. I talked to my family members; they are worried. The domestic flights are closed. We have no diplomatic office here but our affairs are handled by the Bangladesh office in Canberra of Australia. About the deaths Mohon said that I knew an elderly person who used to come to mosque on wheelchair who lost his wife. When we were running for shelter we saw him.

Later we tried to communicate two other persons missing and came to know that they were injured and being treated. I used to know another aunt who died in the attack.

BK

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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