New Zealand mosque attack death toll rises to 51 after Turkish man dies in hospital

ANKARA/WELLINGTON (Reuters) - A Turkish citizen who was wounded during deadly attacks at two mosques in New Zealand on March 15 has died, Turkish and New Zealand officials said on Thursday, lifting the death toll from the shooting to 51.

“We have unfortunately lost our citizen ... who was critically wounded in the heinous attack in Christchurch, New Zealand,” Turkish Foreign Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Twitter.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in an emailed statement that the man died overnight in Christchurch Hospital after being treated in its intensive care unit since the attack.

“My heartfelt condolences go to the family and community of this man ... this sad news will be felt across Turkey as well as New Zealand,” Ardern said.

The man’s brother told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency that the man had been taken to surgery on Thursday but could not be saved.

“He had surgery today, they couldn’t stop the bleeding, so we lost him. We were happy because we thought it was going well, he had been battling for 50 days,” the brother said, according to Anadolu.

Nine people who had been shot in the attack remained in hospital in stable condition, according to Ardern.

Brenton Tarrant, 28, a suspected white supremacist from Australia, has been charged with 50 counts of murder for New Zealand’s worst peacetime mass shooting. Fifty other people were injured in the attacks, which occurred during Friday prayers.

Reporting by Tuvan Gumrukcu in Ankara and Charlotte Greenfield in Wellington; Editing by Gareth Jones and Peter Cooney