AP Photos: Heartbroken New Zealanders mourn mass shooting

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AP Photos: Heartbroken New Zealanders mourn mass shooting
Mourners pay their respects at a makeshift memorial near the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, Saturday, March 16, 2019. (AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

CHRISTCHURCH, New Zealand (AP) — Heartbroken New Zealanders lit candles and placed flowers at makeshift memorials set up in the city of Christchurch in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in the country’s history.

Some mourners hugged their neighbors, while others stood in solemn silence at sites in the city center, not far from the two mosques where Muslims gathered for Friday prayers were mowed down by a racist gunman.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the shooter, an Australian native, had chosen to strike in New Zealand “because we represent diversity, kindness, compassion.”