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Girl, 15, tells NZ gunman in court: Congratulations, you have failed

Victims of Christchurch attack give speeches in court, with one survivor calling gunman a coward

CHRISTCHURCH: A 15-year-old girl, who cannot be named, confronted the gunman who killed 51 people in the New Zealand mosque shootings in one of several emotional speeches made in court yesterday.

"Why did you kill my dad? Why did you take the most important person away?" she asked him.

"He will always be in my heart and the hearts of those who love him. But you, you will be alone in prison.

"The only one who lost everything was you. Congratulations Mr Terrorist, you have failed."

Mucaad Ibrahim, 3, the youngest victim in the New Zealand mosque shootings, died clinging to his father's leg as the gunman Brenton Tarrant deliberately fired two precise shots at him.

His father, who survived, told the white supremacist that "true justice" awaited him in the next life and it would be more severe than prison.

"You have killed my son and to me it is as if you have killed the whole of New Zealand," Mr Aden Ibrahim Diriye said in a statement read by a family member during a sentencing hearing for Tarrant yesterday.

"Know that true justice is waiting for you in the next life and that will be far more severe. I will never forgive you for what you have done."

Tarrant, a 29-year-old Australian, is scheduled to be sentenced this week after pleading guilty to 51 murders, 40 attempted murders and one charge of committing a terrorist act during the March 15 shooting rampage last year in Christchurch, which he livestreamed on Facebook.

While most of Tarrant's victims were at the Al Noor mosque, including Mucaad Ibrahim, he killed seven people at the Linwood mosque.

The casualty list would likely have been higher if it were not for Mr Abdul Aziz Wahabzadah, who was commended for his courage yesterday by High Court Judge Cameron Mander for confronting Tarrant at the Linwood mosque.

Mr Aziz said: "You should thank God on that day I didn't catch you. You know this face. The one who chased you out."

The Australian father of four told the court how he offered himself as a target to protect worshippers inside the mosque.

"I ducked in between the cars. My two sons were looking from the side of the mosque. That coward kept shooting at me. They said, 'Daddy please come inside.' I told them, 'You go inside, I will be alright,'" Mr Aziz told the court.

"I called that coward. 'You are looking for me, I am here!' I didn't want him to go inside the mosque because we had 80 to 100 people praying at that time."

When Tarrant returned to his vehicle, Mr Aziz picked up one of his discarded weapons and smashed the window of the car.

"When I smashed his side window, I saw fear in his eyes for his own life. He looked at me, gave me the finger and told me, 'I will f***ing get all of you,," said Mr Aziz. Tarrant took off in his car, but Mr Aziz chased him down the road brandishing the discarded gun, which was out of ammunition.

"That coward saw me on his back mirror. He came to the other lane and drove through a red traffic light... He just wanted to save his own life," said Mr Aziz, who was born in Afghanistan. The hearing continues today. - REUTERS

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