CHRISTCHURCH, Mar 15 (Agencies): The terror attack on two New Zealand mosques, that led to the death of 49 people and from which the Bangladesh cricket team had a narrow escape, drew condemnation from the cricket fraternity with India captain Virat Kohli calling it "shocking and tragic". The shooting attacks took place on two Christchurch mosques with one gunman -- identified as an Australian extremist -- apparently livestreaming the assault that triggered the lockdown of the city.
The Bangladesh team was close to one of the mosques but managed to escape unscathed. However, the incident led to the tour being called off.
"Shocking and tragic. My heart goes out to the ones affected by this cowardly act at Christchurch. Thoughts with the Bangladesh team as well, stay safe," Kohli tweeted.
Ex-Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi described the attack as 'horrifying'.
"Horrifying tragedy #Christchurch. I found NZ one of safest, most peaceful places, people are friendly. Spoke to Tamim big relief B'desh squad/staff is safe. World must together! stop hatred!Terrorism has no religion! Prayers for bereaved families. May Allah bless the departed," he tweeted.
Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar also expressed disbelief and said that he was relieved to see the Bangladesh cricket team return to safety.
And Pakistan Prime Minister and former cricketer Imran Khan, a former star cricketer, tweeted: "This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion."
New Zealand cricketer Jimmy Neesham said the incident has left him stunned.
"For so long I've watched world events from afar and naively thought we were somehow different in our little corner of the world, somehow safe. Today is a terrible day. Disgusted and saddened doesn't begin to describe it," he tweeted.
Senior India off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin also took to the social media platform to express his disgust, saying "no place in this planet is safe for humanity".
"...because human beings are the biggest threat to this planet," Ashwin wrote.
India batsman Rohit Sharma expressed his solidarity with the victims.
"Heartbreaking news coming out from New Zealand. What's happened to humanity?" he tweeted.
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh added: "Shattered with this terrible news..Another terror attack. Where are we all heading. These cowards have no religion. Thoughts and prayers are with all the victims."
Former Australia captain Michael Clarke and ex-Sri Lanka coach Dav Whatmore also expressed their support to the victims.
"Horrific news out of Christchurch! Absolutely devastating. Thoughts and prayers go out to all affected at this extremely sad time," Clarke tweeted.
Whatmore added: "Very sad news coming out of Christchurch, New Zealand. Condolences to all families whom have lost a loved one. My thoughts and prayers are with all those affected.
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