Christchurch terror attack: Frustration mounts as families wait for bodies

Families were promised that bodies would start being released to them today, but that has not happened.

The faces of families of the victims of the Christchurch terror attack are breaking down. The wait for bodies, is now far too long for them.

The funeral home where the bodies are being held is  'ready ' under police guard.

Police are at the  "ready" at the cemetery too.

But they’re not "ready" to release the bodies yet.

Sharma Nhazeem and husband Mohammed fighting for the bodies - including his uncle, Indo-Fijian Ashraf Ali.

Sharma says frustration is mounting.

"We are getting very frustrated with the New Zealand Police, because we have been lied to a multiple of times," she says.

 "I will give you the example of a Somali father awaiting with a three year old son. He has come to me and stretched out his arms and said to me 'can I have my Bubba back?' I said: 'They will wrap your bubba tomorrow and return to you'."

That hasn't happened. A father, a mother - has been lied to."

Mohammed says they want the bodies today.

Almost every family is in the same position - police won't even let them view the bodies.

The family of three-year-old Mucaad Ibrahim are among the frustrated.

Police say the delay is because they need to formally identify bodies.

"A three year old - what kind of identification do you need?" Says Sharma  

The families have had days of being reassured - including by the Prime Minister.

But not enough action - so now pleading for the boy Mucad to be released first.

"At least release the child. He is New Zealand born," Sharma says.

The wait is now over four days for the family of Hussein al-Umari. His parents were at the cordon on Friday night begging for news. His friend Suhali Toubat is now begging for his body, and the others.

"They need to be underground to meet their creator," Toubat says.

Sheikh Amjad Ali is a Muslim cleric, on duty to do the special role of washing then wrapping the bodies. He cannot perform his role.

One of New Zealand's most senior Islamic figures, questioning why police are making them wait. Holding up Islam, holding up his faith.

Delays, compounding the devastation.


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