A mosque in Surrey’s Newton neighbourhood. (Now-Leader file photo)

Surrey RCMP step up patrols around mosques in wake of New Zealand massacre

Mass shootings at pair of New Zealand mosques kill 49; 1 man charged

Surrey RCMP are stepping up patrols near mosques in this city in the wake of at least 49 people being killed in mass shootings at two New Zealand mosques.

“Surrey RCMP is, and always will be standing strong with the Muslim community,” said Surrey RCMP Corporal Elenore Sturko.

“Officers from the Surrey RCMP Diversity Unit have been in contact with Mosque leadership around the city,” she said Friday morning. “Many have asked for an increased police presence to help the community to feel safe as they come together for prayer.”

Sturko noted that while Surrey RCMP has not identified or received any threats to mosques in Surrey, “we will be stepping up patrols in these areas to help alleviate the public’s concern for safety.”

READ MORE: Mass shootings at New Zealand mosques kill 49; 1 man charged

SEE ALSO: New Zealand mosque shooter brandished white supremacist iconography

Sutrko said school resource officers from the Surrey RCMP Youth Unit will also be attending Muslim schools in Surrey in response to the devastating shootings in New Zealand.

Officials say at least 49 people are dead after the massacre at the pair of mosques full of worshippers who were attending Friday prayers.

Reports say the self-proclaimed racist behind the attack used rifles covered in white-supremacist graffiti and listened to a song glorifying a Bosnian Serb war criminal.

These details highlight the toxic beliefs behind an unprecedented, live-streamed massacre, which New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”

One man has been arrested and charged with murder in what appears to have been a carefully planned racist attack. Police also defused explosive devices in a car.

-With files from the Associated Press



amy.reid@surreynowleader.com

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