Par précaution, j’ai immédiatement appelé nos préfets à la plus grande vigilance et leur ai demandé de renforcer la surveillance des lieux de culte de notre pays.
Des patrouilles seront assurées à proximité des espaces confessionnels.
— Christophe Castaner (@CCastaner) March 15, 2019
Muslims gather at the Grande Mosquee de Paris. Photo: AFP
Christophe Castaner ordered prefects “to use the utmost vigilance” and asked them “to strengthen the surveillance of places of worship in our country” on Twitter.
“Patrols will be provided near religious spaces,” he added.
Castaner also condemned the attacks and sent his sympathies to the victims.
“Solidarity with the people of New Zealand grieving over the heinous terrorist attack in Christchurch. My first thoughts go to the relatives and families of the victims whose emotion and sadness we share. Support to the New Zealand police who are committed against hatred and barbarism.”
French President Emmanuel Macron denounced the “odious crimes against the mosques of Christchurch in New Zealand” that have so far left 49 dead.
Head of the former National Front party – now National Rally (Rassemblement National), Marine Le Pen also condemned the attacks.
“Terrorist attacks are the worst acts of cowardice imaginable. They must be ruthlessly suppressed wherever they occur and whatever their sordid motivation, and all the victims and their families must be unanimously supported and defended.”
The UK has also announced heightened security measures around places of worship.
One of the gunmen — believed to be an Australian extremist — livestreamed the deadly assault, stoking outrage and fear that others may be targeted in copy-cat attacks.