Father, son first to be buried after attacks

A coffin containing one of the bodies is carried for burial at Memorial Park Cemetery in...
A coffin containing one of the bodies is carried for burial at Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch on Wednesday. Photo: Getty
The first two people to be buried after last week's mosque attacks in Christchurch are a father and his son.

Khaled Mustafa. Photo: Supplied
Khaled Mustafa. Photo: Supplied
Khaled Mustafa was 44 and Hamza Mustafa was 15. Hamza was a pupil at Cashmere High School and was compassionate and hard-working, according to the principal Mark Wilson.

Hamza was an excellent horse rider who aspired to be a veterinarian, Wilson says.

Hamza's younger brother Zaed (13) sustained gunshot wounds to the leg in the attack.

Mourners on Wednesday carried the bodies to a freshly dug gravesite, where hundreds gathered around to watch. Some were invited to scoop handfuls of dirt on top of the bodies.

Authorities spent four days constructing a special grave at a city cemetery that is designated for Muslim burials.

Families of those killed had been anxiously awaiting word on when they could bury their loved ones.

In an update on Wednesday morning Police Commissioner Mike Bush said police had now formally identified and released the remains of 21 of those killed. Islamic tradition calls for bodies to be cleansed and buried as soon as possible.

Hamza Mustafa.Photo: Supplied
Hamza Mustafa.Photo: Supplied
It is expected all of the victims of Friday's terror attacked will be laid to rest at the Linwood cemetery.

Sheik Taj El-Din Hilaly, of Sydney, travelled to Christchurch to attend or lead some of the funerals. Through a translator, he said he felt compelled to support the grieving. A nationwide lockdown on mosques was imposed until Monday, which Hilaly said had upset Muslims whom he had visited in Auckland. Police continue to guard mosques across the country.

Residents of this close-knit city have created makeshift memorials near the two targeted mosques and at the botanical gardens, where a mountain of flowers has grown by the day.

Janna Ezat, whose son, Hussein Al-Umari, was killed in the Al Noor mosque, visited the memorial at the gardens and became overwhelmed by the outpouring of love. She knelt amid the flowers and wept, grabbing at daisies and lilies as though she might find her boy in them.

Ezat is comforted by reports that Hussein confronted the killer, charging at him after surviving the first spray of bullets.

"I'm very happy. I'm wearing white. We normally wear black," she said. "But he is a hero and I am proud of him."

Fifty pairs of white shoes were lined up as a memorial to the victims in Christchurch. Photo: AP
Fifty pairs of white shoes were lined up as a memorial to the victims in Christchurch. Photo: AP

Meanwhile, police have formally released the first five names of those killed in the shootings.

They are:

• Haji Mohemmed Daoud Nabi (male)

• Mohsen Mohammed Al Harbi (male)

• Kamel Moh'd Kamal Kamel Darwish (male, from Jordan)

• Junaid Ismail (male)

• Mucaad Ibrahim (male)

 - additional reporting NZME

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