New Zealand calls off Christchurch attack commemoration amid coronavirus fears

Flowers and messages seen outside the Al Noor mosque on March 13, ahead of the first anniversary of the Christchurch mosque shootings. PHOTO: AFP

CHRISTCHURCH (REUTERS) - New Zealand on Saturday (March 14) called off a national remembrance service marking the one-year anniversary of the attack on Christchurch mosques due to concerns over the coronavirus outbreak.

The event, to be held in Christchurch on Sunday, was expected to attract a large crowd, with many travelling from around New Zealand and from overseas.

"This is a pragmatic decision. We're very saddened to cancel, but in remembering such a terrible tragedy, we shouldn't create the risk of further harm being done," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a statement.

New Zealand confirmed its sixth case of Covid-19 on Saturday.

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