NEWS

Christchurch Shootings: Annual Pilgrimage Turns Tragic

The 59-year-old was one of the two Fijian victims who died in a terror attack on two Christchurch mosques on March 15. The other Fijian was Imam Hafiz Musa Patel, formerly of Lautoka Mosque.
18 Mar 2019 11:51
Christchurch Shootings: Annual Pilgrimage Turns Tragic
Ashraf Ali, 59, who was among the 49 people killed at the Christchurch terror attack.

Taxi business owner Ashraf Ali left Fiji on March 9 for his annual pilgrimage to Christchurch.

The 59-year-old was one of the two Fijian victims who died in a terror attack on two Christchurch mosques on March 15. The other Fijian was Imam Hafiz Musa Patel, formerly of Lautoka Mosque.

Their deaths brought the total death toll to 50.

Mr Ali was described as a loving father, grandfather, uncle and brother to everyone by his grandson, Mohammed Iftikar Ali, 34.

Mr Ali said his grandfather visited his brothers and sisters in Christchurch during his time there.

“Travelling to New Zealand was like an annual event for him,” he said.

“He went for Juma with his elder brother Ramzan Ali at the Al Noor Mosque when the shooting happened. His elder brother survived.”

The late Mr Ali owned Mead Taxis in Nabua and was staying at Omkar Road on Narere at Nasinu.

He was survived by his daughter, who now lives in Australia. His wife passed away a few years ago.

“I will miss my grandfather, whatever I am today was because of him,” Iftikar Ali said.

“I am hoping that the funeral in New Zealand is delayed because I am still trying to get a New Zealand visa.

“I just need to go and pay my last respects to him for everything that he taught me, I just want to see him one last time,” he cried.

Ramzan Ali, 62, was the last person to leave the Al Noor mosque on the day of the shooting.

Ramzan Ali, 62, was the last person to leave the Al Noor mosque on the day of the shooting.

Mr Ali’s elder brother Ramzan Ali, 62, was said to be the last person to make it out of the Al Noor Mosque alive after the deadly terror attack.

According to his interview with New Zealand Herald on Friday, March 15, he dived behind a bench, although he said his legs would have been visible.

He had been attending regular Friday prayers at the mosque, and said there were around 300 worshippers in the building at the time. He said the sermon was being given when the shooting started.

Edited by Epineri Vula

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