Black armbands sported by PSL players to denounce NZ Christchurch killings

KARACHI: HBL PSL players and match officials sported black armbands during the eliminator 2 match at the National Stadium Karachi on Friday to denounce New Zealand Christchurch killings that traumatized the world.

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A minute of silence was also observed before the start of the match between Islamabad United and Peshawar Zalmi to articulate cohesion with the victims of one of the most dreadful terror attacks in history.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) earlier conveyed distress and sorrow over the Christchurch attacks prior to the Friday prayers.

PCB Chief Ehsan Mani said, “On behalf of the Pakistan cricket fraternity, I would like to condemn in the strongest possible way the cowardly, uncivilized and inhuman terrorist attacks on the innocent worshippers in Christchurch mosques.”

“Our hearts go out for all those affected by this tragedy as who will feel and understand their pain and loss better than us,” PCB Chief said.

“In these difficult times, we also stand firmly with our colleagues in New Zealand Cricket and offer our deepest condolences. We are also aware that the Bangladesh men’s cricket team were also praying at a mosque near the Hagley Park. We thank Allah Almighty that all of them escaped unhurt,” Mani further said.

“As a mark of respect for the victims and to show support and solidarity with the New Zealand community and the NZC, it has been decided that we will observe a minute’s silence before the start of tonight’s Pakistan Super League match, while all the players and match officials will wear black armbands,” said Mani.

Forty people were killed and 20 more were seriously injured in armed assaults on two Christchurch mosques Friday.

“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” she said. “From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned.” “Two explosive devices attached to suspect vehicles have now been found and they have been disarmed,” said New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealand police said they have detained three people and had secured a number of improvised explosive devices. He said the suspected IEDs found attached to the attackers´ vehicles had been made safe by the military.

Video footage widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded, showed him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside.

Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay huddled on the floor of the mosque, the video showed. Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque.

The Bangladesh cricket team was arriving for prayers when the shooting occurred but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters.

Prime Minister Imran Khan blamed the increasing terror attacks on Islamophobia post 9/11.

“Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families,” he tweeted.

“I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam and 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles,” PM Imran added

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