THE mayor of Swindon has strongly condemned the terrorist attacks in New Zealand, calling those responsible evil and warned against similar copycat shootings.

The latest shocking reports from the country confirm that at least 49 people have been killed in the attacks, which took place during Friday prayers at mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Leaders around the world joined the Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Arden in condemning the terrorist attacks, including Mayor of Swindon Junab Ali, who is Muslim.

He told the Adver: "You just don't have the words, this is a place where people feel the most safe, whether its a mosque or temple, or whatever, where you can feel at ease.

"When somebody comes in and shoots every single person my heart just goes out to all the victims and their families.

"The most important thing is that other people and fanatics don't take this up and think this gives them an excuse for copycat attacks. There is no justification for this kind of behaviour.

"These people are pure evil, criminal and terrorists. It doesn't matter what their nationality or beliefs are. They do not represent the human race at all."

Other groups in town also spoke out. A spokesperson for St Augustines Church in Rodbourne said: "Our thoughts and prayers for all those affected by the events in #NewZealand - for those who lost their lives and injured and for the emergency services."