World

Christchurch update: New Zealand mosque shootings kill at least 49, seriously wound 20

15 March 2019 - 103   - 1

WELLINGTON (Reuters) - At least one gunman killed 49 people and wounded more than 20 during Friday prayers at two New Zealand mosques in the country’s worst ever mass shooting, which Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern condemned as terrorism.

A gunman broadcast live footage on Facebook of the attack on one mosque in the city of Christchurch, mirroring the carnage played out in video games, after publishing a “manifesto” in which he denounced immigrants, calling them “invaders”.

New Zealand was placed on its highest security threat level, Ardern said, adding that four people taken into custody held extremist views but had not been on any police watchlists.

“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack,” Ardern said, call this “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.

Police said later three people were in custody and one man in his late 20s had been charged with murder. He will appear in court on Saturday.

The visiting Bangladesh cricket team was arriving for prayers at one of the mosques when the shooting started but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush said 49 people had been killed in total.

The video footage widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded, showed him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside.

Worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay huddled on the floor, the video showed. Reuters was unable to confirm the authenticity of the footage.

One man who said he was at the Al Noor mosque told media the gunman was white, blond and wearing a helmet and a bulletproof vest. The man burst into the mosque as worshippers were kneeling for prayers.

  Comments - 1

  • Archie Sinthaby Monday, 18 March 2019 10:17 AM

    Prayers will earn martyrdom God willing and may his Mercy be on them and pardoned the shooter let almighty God decide on him

    Reply : 0       0

    Leave a comment



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