San Diegans gather to remember victims of New Zealand attacks

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SAN DIEGO — St. Paul’s Episcopal Cathedral opened its doors Wednesday to people of all faiths and denominations who wanted to take part in a service honoring victims of last week’s terrorist attack in New Zealand.

Part of the event included a traditional Muslim prayer held at sunset. It was followed by a questions and answer period to help people better understand the tragedy.

“Believe me, we felt it as if it happened right here in our neighborhood. It was so powerful and painful at the same time,” said Imam Taha Hassane of the Islamic Center of San Diego.

As the remembrance event was taking place at St. Paul’s, another was being held at University of San Diego, where students and faculty gathered for a candlelight vigil.

“This is the right thing to do in order to send a strong, clean, powerful message that we are one family, one community right here in San Diego,” said Hassane.

Wednesday’s events in San Diego came as New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced all military-style semi-automatic weapons, assault rifles and high-capacity magazines will be banned in the country.

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