New Zealand mosque attacks: What we know so far
The country’s prime minister described it as ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’.
Forty-nine people have been killed and four people are in custody after attackers opened fire during Friday prayers at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.
Here’s what we know so far:
– At least 41 people were killed at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch while at least seven people died inside the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque, and one person died in hospital. In all, a total of 49 people were killed.
– At least 20 others have been seriously injured.
– A male in his late 20s has been charged with murder and is due to appear at a Christchurch court on Saturday morning.
– Two men and one woman are also in custody over the attacks. Police believe one of the arrested may have had nothing to do with the incident and are working to understand what the involvement of the other two people may be.
– Migrants and refugees appeared to be most affected by the shootings.
– New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the national security threat level has been lifted from low to high, adding the shootings appeared to have been a well-planned “terrorist attack”. She described it as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”.
– One of the suspected attackers – Brenton Tarrant – appears to have live-streamed the attack on Facebook. Police have urged the public not to share the “extremely distressing” material online.
– The 28-year-old Australian described his anti-immigrant motives in a manifesto.
– Police said they are not actively looking for any identified suspects but said it would be “wrong to assume that there is no-one else”.
– Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of those arrested was an Australian citizen and described the suspected attacker as an “extremist right-wing violent terrorist”.
– Two improvised explosive devices were found on a vehicle after the shootings. One has been defused and the second is in the process of being disabled.
– Officers first received reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at about 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT).
– All schools in Christchurch were put on lockdown and mosques told to shut their doors.
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