Dutch politicians "shocked" by Christchurch attacks, threat level remains unchanged

Source: Xinhua| 2019-03-15 23:45:04|Editor: yan
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THE HAGUE, March 15 (Xinhua) -- The Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte, Dutch King Willem-Alexander and several others on Friday sent their condolences to the victims of the terrorist attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand, with the Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security calling out "to stay alert around mosques".

"I am shocked by the terrible attacks on the two mosques in Christchurch," Prime Minister Rutte said. "My thoughts are with the victims and their relatives. I just offered Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern my condolences."

"We are shocked," the Dutch King said in a joint statement with his wife Queen Maxima. "Hate and intolerance have taken a horrible toll. We are living intensively with all who have been affected by this unreasonable violence."

Dutch Foreign Minister Stef Blok also added condolences. "My heartfelt condolences go out to the victims and their families or this ruthless and horrific act of violence which hit Christchurch today," Blok stated. "We stand by the people and government of New Zealand and our thoughts are with them."

During the attacks in Christchurch at least two gunmen opened fire at two separate mosques in Christchurch on Friday, killing over 40 people and injuring over 20 people.

The Dutch National Coordinator for Counterterrorism and Security (NCTV) concluded that "the polarized social debate can have an impact on rapidly radicalizing groups or loners". The NCTV added that the attacks have no impact on the current Dutch threat level. The threat level remains on 4 (out of 5), but "local authorities are and remain alert around mosques in the Netherlands", the NCTV stated.

Rotterdam mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb, a Muslim, visited the An-Nasr mosque in his city. "It is unimaginable if your highest goal in life is to kill other people," he said in a speech. "I don't understand it and have no understanding for it. We decided today to wipe my agenda clean to share this feeling with you here."

"It is important to stay alert and stay sharp," Aboutaleb continued. "We do that too. We have decided to have some extra police patrols driving around the mosques of Rotterdam today because I have received reports that people need them."

Migrant party DENK decided to halt its campaign activities for the Provincial Elections, scheduled for March 20. Representatives of the party visited mosques to support the Muslim community.