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First funeral for victims of New Zealand mosque massacre has begun

Updated: 2019-03-20 09:28
The body of a victim of the mosque attacks is carried during the burial ceremony at the Memorial Park Cemetery in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 20, 2019. [Photo/Agencies]

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand - The first funeral for one of 50 victims of the New Zealand mosque massacre has begun.

Hundreds of people are at the services in Christchurch.

The identity of the victims was not immediately known. Authorities spent four days constructing a special grave at a city cemetery that is designated for the Muslim burials.

The first two people to be buried after last week's mosque attacks that killed 50 people are a father and his son.

Khalid Mustafa was 44 and Hamza Mustafa was 15. The teen was a student 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, suffered 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.

AP

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