Monday 19 August 2019
 
»
 
»
GUNMEN TARGET WORSHIPPERS

40 killed in New Zealand mosque shootings

CHRISTCHURCH, March 15, 2019

At least 40 people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
 
Attackers used semi-automatic weapons on worshippers gathering for Friday prayers in two locations: a mosque at Deans Avenue in central Christchurch and another mosque in the nearby suburb of Linwood.
 
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incidents as a terrorist attack, and one of the country's "darkest days".
 
Three men and one woman are in custody, police commissioner Mike Bush said, but warned more suspects may be at large.
 
Reports also claimed one of the shooters had an IED strapped to his person, but NZ police confirmed he has also been made safe.
 
"There have been huge acts of bravery to apprehend these people, but let's not assume that the threat is over. We are as visually equipped as we can be," NZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.
 
"As you can imagine this is requiring every police and emergency resource that we have available. We have defence force aircraft in Wellington ready to fly more resources into the area, and we will do that from other locations nearby as well."
 
The first report of an attack came from the Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch along Deans Avenue, facing Hagley Park. Witnesses there reported seeing people bleeding on the ground outside the building.
 
One unnamed survivor told TV New Zealand he saw a gunman shoot a man directly in the chest. 
The attacker reportedly targeted the men's prayer room in the mosque, then moved to the women's room.
 
"He came to this side, he shot this side, he went to another room and went to the ladies' section and shot them. I just heard one of the ladies has died," he said.
 
Witnesses told local media they ran for their lives and saw people bleeding on the ground outside the Al Noor mosque.
 
The  Linwood mosque has been evacuated, and Police Commissioner Mike Bush said "multiple fatalities" were recorded at two locations. As yet, far fewer details have emerged from the second site.
 
They said they had responded to "a number of IEDs (explosive devices) attached to vehicles, that we also stopped".
 
Authorities have advised all mosques in the city to shut down until further notice, saying this was an unprecedented act of violence.
 
Armed police have also been seen at Papanui High School in Christchurch, which has been cordoned off.
 
Live coverage 
It is not yet known how many shooters there were, but one gunman is an Australian who is believed to have written a manifesto outlining his intentions. In it, he espouses far right and anti-immigrant ideology.
 
Footage taken by one shooter has emerged, which he appears to have live-streamed as he shot victims in a mosque. Police called on the public not to share the "extremely distressing" material online.
 
Facebook said it had removed the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as any support voiced for that crime.
 
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of those arrested was an Australian citizen. He described the suspected attacker as an "extremist right-wing violent terrorist".
 



Tags:

More INTERNATIONAL NEWS Stories

calendarCalendar of Events

Ads