Meet Lateef Alabi, one of the survivors of New Zealand mosque attack

Meet Lateef Alabi, one of the survivors of New Zealand mosque attack

One of the few survivors of the attack on two New Zealand mosques on Friday that claimed the lives of fifty people and left many injured, has been ide

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One of the few survivors of the attack on two New Zealand mosques on Friday that claimed the lives of fifty people and left many injured, has been identified as Lateef Alabi, an imam from Nigeria.

Recounting his experience, Lateef Alabi, a leader in the Linwood mosque, said he was in the middle of his prayer when he heard gunshots. He said immediately he stopped his payer and peeped out through the window where he saw an armed man “heavily dressed”. The gunman was later identified as Brenton Tarrant.

Alabi told everyone inside to get down and before he knew it, dead bodies were already lying on the floor. He said the gunman dropped his gun when he ran out of bullets. Then, he and a fellow worshippers followed the shooter as he left the mosque. The other man, he said, picked up the machine gun and smashed it into the gunman’s car windscreen. After the gunman drove away, Alabi returned to the mosque.

“He shot one brother coming towards the mosque; he shot him from the head. I stopped my prayer, I peeped through the window, and I saw the person with a machine gun, heavily dressed. By the time I looked on the ground and saw dead bodies I thought this is something else, this is a terrorist,” Lateef Alabi said.

“I started picking up the bodies to know who was dead and who was alive. I never thought this would happen in New Zealand, never, never, never, believe me. “But it’s happened, it’s happened, so it will happen anywhere and we just feel bad about those who have passed away and for their families … I will pray for them. I’m very sad for what has happened, but I believe this country is a peaceful country and I hope something good will happen after that and the security will become tighter.”