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New Zealand attack: Downing Street demands all media firms remove video of Christchurch mosque shooting

The Independent logo The Independent 15/03/2019 Joe Watts
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Downing Street has demanded UK news and media companies remove from their websites terrifying footage of the far-right terror rampage against Muslims in New Zealand.

Number 10 intervened after the film made by the main gunman was posted on social media, with a number of major news organisations then choosing to carry it on their websites.

It comes as world leaders expressed condolences and condemnation of the deadly attacks on mosques in the city of Christchurch, while Muslim leaders said the mass shooting was evidence of a rising tide of violent anti-Islam sentiment.

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Read more on this story:

I prayed killer would run out of bullets, witness says (Newshub)

Javid condemns Australian MP's 'racist' remark (Daily Mail)

'Standing together': UK police patrol mosques (The Independent)

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After footage of the attack was put on Facebook, the company removed it and the alleged terrorist’s accounts from its platforms, once alerted by police.

Both YouTube owner Google and Twitter also said they are working to remove video of the shootings from their sites. But at least two major news websites in the UK also uploaded segments of the 17-minute film.

Watch: Sonny Bill Williams 'deeply, deeply saddened' by mosque attack (Sky News)

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Theresa May’s spokeswoman: “Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other providers have taken action to remove the video and other propaganda related to the attack.

“The government has been clear that all companies need to act more quickly to remove terrorist content.

“There should be no safe spaces for terrorists to promote and share their extreme views and radicalise others.”

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New Zealand health authorities say 48 people with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital after mass shootings at two mosques killed 49 people.

The chief executive of the Canterbury District Health Board, David Meates, said the patients range from young children to adults and the injuries range from minor to critical – 12 operating theatres were being used as some patients will need multiple surgeries.

Security Minister Ben Wallace sent condolences to the victims and their families and offered UK assistance to deal with the “repugnant” attack.

Watch: 'Media's Islamophobia helped lead to New Zealand mosque shootings' (LBC)

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He added: “Later today, the Home Secretary and I will be speaking to police counter-terrorism leaders and security services to discuss what further measures we can take to protect our mosques and our communities from any threat here in the United Kingdom.

“No-one should be in any doubt that our police and security services treat all threats the same and all terrorists the same no matter what communities, religion or background they come from.

”A terrorist is a terrorist and we shall deal with them exactly the same.”

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