At least 49 people were killed and 48 were injured today in attacks at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand
Today, two mosques in New Zealand’s city of Christchurch were attacked and 41 people were killed at the Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue and 7 people at Linwood Masjid mosque on Linwood Avenue, while another victim died later in Christchurch hospital. The hospital is also treating 48 people for gunshot wounds.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned it was a terrorist attack and “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” as this was the worst mass shooting in the country’s history. She added:
“Many directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here… They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not. You may have chosen us but we utterly reject you and condemn you.”
Police stated three attackers are in custody after the mass shootings, out of which a man in his late twenties has been charged with murder and will appear on court on Saturday morning. This man was reported to be a right-wing extremist who apparently wrote a manifesto before live streaming the shooting, and was identified as Brenton Tarrant. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed he is an Australian citizen and described him as an “extremist right-wing violent terrorist”.
Another man and one woman were detained nearby and had firearms confiscated, and police also found multiple explosive devices in a car belonging to one of the suspects. They also said officers are in attendance at a property in the city of Dunedin in connection with the attacks. It was reported later one of the suspects was released and now police is working to understand if the others were indeed connected in what proved to be a carefully planned and unprecedented attack that shocked the usually peaceful nation.
The police are not looking for anyone else in connection with the attacks, but they remain vigilant and Christchurch remains on lockdown.