NEW ZEALAND MOSQUE SHOOTINGS LEAVE 49 DEAD | Daily News


 

NEW ZEALAND MOSQUE SHOOTINGS LEAVE 49 DEAD

Gunman was Australian right-wing ‘terrorist’: Australian PM :
An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. - AFP
An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. - AFP

NEW ZEALAND, AUSTRALIA: Attacks on two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead Friday, with one gunman - identified as an Australian extremist -- apparently livestreaming the assault that triggered the lockdown of the New Zealand city.

Witnesses spoke of victims being shot at close range, with women and children also believed to be among those killed.

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

“From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned,” she said, adding that in addition to the dead, another 48 people were seriously injured.

The gunman at one mosque was an Australian-born citizen, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in Sydney, describing him as “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.

It was not immediately clear how many attackers were involved, but Ardern said three men had been taken into custody.

Two IEDS (Improved Explosive Devices) were also found and neutralised by the military, police said.

The Australian Prime Minister offering his sympathies to New Zealand, said “We are not just allies, we are not just partners, we are family,” he said.

New Zealand police said they had detained three men and one woman after attacks on two Christchurch mosques, but they have not provided their identities.

“It is such a sad and devastating reminder of the evil that can be ever present about us,” Morrison said of the attacks.

Witnesses spoke of victims being shot at close range, with women and children also believed to be among those killed. Local media reported at least nine people were dead. New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said there were “significant” and “multiple” fatalities. A number of IEDS were also found and neutralised by the military.

A Palestinian man who was in one of the mosques said he saw someone being shot in the head.

“I heard three quick shots, then after about 10 seconds it started again. It must have been an automatic -- no one could pull a trigger that quick,” the man, who did not wish to be named, told AFP.

“Then people started running out. Some were covered in blood,” he said, adding that he joined the fleeing crowd and managed to escape.

Video and documents circulating online -- but not officially confirmed -- suggested the shooter had streamed his attack on Facebook Live.

AFP has examined the footage, which has subsequently been taken down. Journalists experienced in verification techniques said it appeared to be genuine.

New Zealand police described it as “extremely distressing” and urged web users not to share it.

A manifesto had also been posted online on accounts linked to the same Facebook page, suggesting the attack was racially motivated.

A social media account had also posted a number of pictures of a semi-automatic weapon covered in the names of historical figures, many of whom were involved in the killing of Muslims.

The two known targets were the Masjid al Noor in central Christchurch, and a second mosque in suburban Linwood.

One witness told stuff.co.nz he was praying when he heard shooting -- and then saw his wife lying dead on the footpath outside when he fled.

Another man said he saw children being shot. “There were bodies all over,” he said.

The Bangladesh cricket team -- which had been in Christchurch for a test match against New Zealand that was later cancelled -- all escaped without injury.

A spokesman said the attack happened as some of players got off a team bus and were about to enter the mosque.

“They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel,” he told AFP.

Mass shootings are rare in New Zealand, which tightened its gun laws to restrict access to semi-automatic rifles in 1992, two years after a mentally ill man shot dead 13 people in the South Island town of Aramoana.

- AFP

 


Visit Kapruka.com Sri Lanka's Largest online shop. Over 125,000 unique categories such as Fresh Flowers, Cakes, Food, Jewllery, Childrens Toys and other Sri Lankan e-commerce categories. Low delivery cost to most cities here and free delivery in Colombo.

 

Add new comment