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Turkey and Bulgaria investigating alleged visits by New Zealand mosque killer

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Turkish authorities have opened an inquiry after it emerged that the man behind the Christchurch shootings made several visits to Turkey. A similar investigation has also been opened in Bulgaria.

Australian Brenton Tarrant, 28, a right-wing extremist armed with semi-automatic weapons rampaged through two mosques in the city of Christchurch during afternoon prayers on Friday, killing 49 worshippers and wounding dozens more.

Turkish media quoted officials in Ankara stating that a visitor believed to be the 28-year-old Australian visited Turkey several times and stayed for a long period in the country. They added that the suspicions are that from Turkey he travelled to other countries in Europe, Africa and Asia

Turkish media reported that a manifesto published online allegedly by the gunman contained specific references to Turkey and ridding the famed Hagia Sophia in Istanbul of its minarets. Now a museum, the building was once a church before being turned into a mosque during the Ottoman empire.

Even Bulgarian authorities announced that they too are investigating any possible links with the Christchurch shootings after discovering that the gunman might have visited Bulgaria in November 2018.

Bulgaria’s chief prosecutor Sotir Tsatsarov said a man believed to be Brenton Tarrant spent a week in the country supposedly to visit historical sites and study the history of the Balkan country.

Tarrant is also suspected of making  a short visit to the Balkans in December 2016, travelling by bus across Serbia, Croatia, Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

Via France 24

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