Attacks on two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead Friday, with one gunman — identified as an Australian extremist — apparently live streaming the assault that triggered the lock down of the New Zealand city.
In what appeared to be the worst attack against Muslims in a western country, witnesses spoke of victims being shot at close range, with women and children believed to be among those killed.
A QUICK ROUND UP OF WHAT’S HAPPENED SO FAR IN CHRISTCHURCH:
- Forty-nine people have been killed and at least 20 wounded in shootings at two mosques
- The attack happened at a time when people were gathered for Friday prayers and was the deadliest in the nation’s history
- A man in his late 20s was charged with murder and will appear in court on Saturday morning
- Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this was a terrorist attack and one of New Zealand’s “darkest days”
- Security has been stepped up around mosques in several cities around the world
- The US released a statement condemning the acts of violence but did not call this a terrorist act.
WHAT HAPPENED – CHRISTCHURCH MOURNS
The world reacts as tributes and reaction around the world pour in, with many world leaders calling this as a terrorist attack except President Trump.
New Zealand Prime Minister offered her condolences and vowed to fight the far right terror in New Zealand.
“It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the shootings as a “terrorist attack” and one of the country’s “darkest hours”.
On Twitter, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has condemned the “shooting of innocent people as they prayed peacefully”.
I’m saddened & strongly condemn the shooting of innocent people as they prayed peacefully in mosques in New Zealand. I express my deepest condolences to the victims’ families. Today and every day, we must stand united against anti-Muslim hatred, & all forms of bigotry & terror.
Australian PM Scott Morrison confirmed an Australian-born citizen had been arrested, calling him an “extremist rightwing violent terrorist”
‘Terrorism does not have a religion’: Pakistan condemns New Zealand mosque shootings.
I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles.
Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.
Let’s not sanitise the heinous terrorist attack targeting Muslims praying in a Mosque which says 30-40 dead in #NZMosque.It is certainly not a shooting or simple act of violence as many Western media reports couch it as. It is plain horrific,Islamophobic, anti-Muslim terrorism
Extra Security for Mosques
Police and security services had advised Muslims to shut the doors to the mosques. Around the world the Mosques are being protected by police to ensure no further attacks are carried out.
Police in Scotland say they will be stepping up “reassurance patrols” around mosques following the shootings in Christchurch.
“There is no intelligence to suggest there is any specific threat to Scotland,” said Deputy Chief Constable Will Kerr.
“We are monitoring events in New Zealand closely and send our condolences to all those affected.
“We benefit from having strong and cohesive communities in Scotland. We stand together with all our communities and partners here and overseas, and will continue to work with them to counter the threat no matter where it comes from.
Two Saudi citizens were among those injured in the terrorist attacks on Al Noor mosque in New Zealand’s Christchurch, according to an official statement from the Kingdom’s embassy in Wellington.
Palestinian sources have indicated that a number of Palestinians were amongst the victims of the New Zealand terrorist attacks.
The Jordanian Foreign Ministry said that one Jordanian was killed and 7 wounded in the New Zealand terrorist attack.