Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 June 2019

Prince William meets five-year-old Christchurch attack survivor

Alen Alsati, who was left brain damaged in the attack, only woke from a coma this week

Britain’s Prince William met a survivor of last month’s mosque attacks in Christchurch during a visit to New Zealand on Thursday.

William visited Starship Children’s Hospital in Auckland in the North Island to see a five-year-old girl who was shot several times during the terror attack, which left 50 people dead.

Alen Alsati, whose father Wasseim was also injured, only woke up from a coma earlier this week.

In a video of the meeting posted to Twitter by Kensington Palace, William can be heard telling Alen he has a daughter “about the same age as you".

Mr Alsati, who is originally from Jordan, said his daughter had suffered brain damage and was initially left unable to speak after the alleged shooter Brenton Tarrant pointed his weapon at her head.

Later on, William travelled to Christchuch on the South Island where he met first responders to the attack at the Justice and Emergency Services Precinct.

The 36-year-old told police officers and medics: "You did an incredible job on a very bad day."

New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the emotion was "palpable" as officers recounted their own experiences of responding to the tragedy to the Duke.

William also praised Muslim leaders in Christchurch for uniting the community.

William is on a two-day trip to the country to "pay tribute to the extraordinary compassion and solidarity" displayed by New Zealanders.

The Duke of Cambridge was welcomed to New Zealand earlier on by prime minister Jacinda Ardern, who received the prince with a traditional Maori greeting.

He attended an Anzac Day service in Auckland to pay tribute to New Zealand and Australian soldiers killed during the First World War, laying a wreath on behalf of his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.

On Friday, the second-in-line to the British throne will visit the two mosques where the shooting took place.

William last visited Christchurch back in 2011 in the aftermath of an earthquake, which left 185 people dead.

Updated: April 26, 2019 01:49 PM

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