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NZ's Ardern says guilty plea gives some relief to people shattered by mosque attack

WELLINGTON (Reuters) – New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday the guilty plea and conviction of the Christchurch mosque attacker brings some relief to many people affected by last year’s attack.

“The guilty plea today will provide some relief to the many people whose lives were shattered by what happened on March 15,” Ardern said in a statement.

Australian Brenton Tarrant entered a surprise guilty plea in a Christchurch court on Thursday to all 92 charges against him.

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Cobourg police investigating shooting after victim ‘dropped off’ at hospital

Police in Cobourg are investigating a Tuesday morning shooting after a victim arrived at the hospital.

The Cobourg Police Service says around 10:45 a.m, officers responded to a call from staff at Northumberland Hills Hospital in relation to a weapons investigation.

Police say officers arrived and were informed that someone had “dropped off” a man who was suffering from a gunshot wound.

The victim is being assessed for serious but non-life-threatening injuries, police said on Tuesday afternoon.

The site of the shooting is unknown at this time.

Police released a photo of a white car they believe dropped off the shooting victim.

“The investigation is in the early stages and investigators believe that this was not a random incident,” police stated.

In a release, the hospital stated the victim was at the emergency department. The hospital is open, secure and there is no risk to staff or patients.

“Uniformed police officers have been temporarily stationed at the emergency entrance, front (main) entrance and the staff entrance to reassure both the public and the hospital team,” the hospital stated. “NHH’s dialysis/cancer and supportive care entrance is currently locked and staffed by NHH security to support patient entry.

Police presence will continue at the main hospital site through the day and early evening as a precaution.

“We thank Cobourg Police Services and NHH security for their support. The NHH team is here and ready to support all who need acute care,” stated hospital president and CEO Linda Davis.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Det. Sgt. John Linney at 905-372-6821 ext. 2229, call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-TIPS or leave an anonymous tip online.

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New Zealand attack survivor: slain wife drives with me on road to forgiveness

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (Reuters) – A year after New Zealand’s deadliest mass shooting, a survivor who became a worldwide symbol of forgiveness says he still feels no anger about the attack, but misses his wife so much he forgets she is gone.

Farid Ahmed, whose wife Husna was one of 51 people killed by a gunman at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, reached out within days of the attack to express his forgiveness to the family of the man charged with the murders. He has since been a public face of the survivors, and has met Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and U.S. President Donald Trump.

“I have taken the tragedy as an opportunity to spread the message of peace and love,” Ahmed told Reuters through tears in an interview ahead of the anniversary of the attack. “I never felt angry but I ask what was her crime? She didn’t hate anyone.”

Ahmed has written a book, Husna’s Story, about his wife, the massacre and what he describes as his “journey to forgiveness”. Proceeds are donated to an ambulance charity.

Husna was shot dead by the gunman while running from the building to look for Ahmed, who uses a wheelchair from an earlier accident. Sometimes he still imagines her sitting beside him in his car, he said.

“I’m driving (and) I look at my side and I feel she is there and suddenly not there,” he said.

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