His tiny body, fragile as a bird, barely filled half an open coffin.

Mucaad Ibrahim, 3, was carried aloft in a shroud, almost weightless, by 10 of his Somali family wearing long dark robes. Some of them reached in for a last embrace.

Mucaad Ibrahim, 3, was the youngest victim killed in the attack. Photo / Supplied
Mucaad Ibrahim, 3, was the youngest victim killed in the attack. Photo / Supplied

The youngest victim of the Christchurch terrorist attacks, he was buried after a mass funeral at Memorial Park.

Ibrahim, a brown-eyed boy described by family as constantly smiling, was born to a Somali family who had fled fighting in their home country 20 years ago. He was killed after becoming separated from his father in Al Noor Mosque, the first mosque to be hit by the gunman.


"Verily we belong to God and to Him we shall return," his brother, Abdi, said after his short life was ended last Friday.

In all, 26 victims of the Christchurch terrorist attack were buried over two hours. A 27th, Mohamed Elmi, who died in a car crash after grieving with victims, was buried with them.

It was mourning on a scale rarely seen before in this country. A line of hearses 100 metres long were parked opposite the cemetery.

Five thousand mourners filled the grounds - the equivalent of a tenth of New Zealand's Muslim population.

Vehicles at Memorial Park, where the funerals took place.
Vehicles at Memorial Park, where the funerals took place.

"We don't do this every day," an announcer said over the loudspeakers.

"We don't bury 27 of our loved ones in a day, so please understand we are going to do things differently."

The shrouded bodies were buried five at a time, with only six or eight family members allowed at the graveside because of space.

After a short prayer, they were carried above heads to their graves and had dirt thrown over them by male relatives and friends. There was little time for ceremony. Another five bodies soon followed.


Indian Arifbhai Vora, 58, was buried alongside his son, Ramiz Vora. Ramiz's wife had given birth to a girl less than a fortnight before his death. The Vora men were killed in the tiny mosque in Linwood, where the second shooting occurred.

Ghulam Hussain and Karam Bibi, and their son Zeshan Raza, from Pakistan, were buried centimetres apart. They had been visiting their son in Christchurch for the first time when they were gunned down in the Al Noor Mosque.

Naeem Rashid became one the heroes of the terrorist attack after footage emerged of him trying to wrest the assault rifle from the gunman. He was buried alongside his son, Talha, 21.

There was also Husna Ahmed, who was shot when she returned to the Al Noor Mosque to rescue her disabled husband.

As the late sun cast long shadows across the cemetery, the procession of bodies continued.

The victims came from Palestine, Egypt and India. From Somalia and Pakistan. From one suburb over. And their days ended in a quiet corner of Christchurch's eastern suburbs, under a line of gum trees.

People gather for the funeral and burials.
People gather for the funeral and burials.

The full list of people buried:

Kamel Mohd Kamal Kamel DARWISH
Karam BIBI
Muhammad Zeshan RAZA
Ashraf El-Moursy RAGHEB
Ramiz Arif Bhai VORA
Arif Mohamedali VOHRA
Muhammad SAMAD
Mohammad Ata ELAYYAN
Osama Adnan ABUKWAIK
Muhammad Suhail SHAHID
Abdelfattah QASEM
Ali Mah'd Abdullah ELMADANI
Abdukadir ELMI
Ahmed Gamal Eldin Mohamed ABDEL GHANY
Hussein AL-UMARI
Mohammed Imran KHAN
Mohamed Sheikh Abdi ELMI