Premier Jacinda Ardern says ‘this is one of New Zealand’s darkest days’, raises national security threat level from low to high
–Shooter identified as 28-year-old white Australian named Brenton Tarrant live-streamed terror attack on FB
CHRISTCHURCH: At least 49 people were killed and 20 injured in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday when at least one gunman opened fire on worshippers in two separate mosques.
The attack, which came around the time people were attending the mosques for Friday prayers, was the deadliest in the western nation’s history.
One mosque attendee told CNN the gunman, dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit and carrying an automatic rifle, fired for “10 to 15 minutes” taking aim at more than 200 people.
Thirty fatalities occurred at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. Seven of the dead were inside the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque and three died outside the same mosque.
New Zealand police said they have taken into custody three men and a woman over the shootings at two mosques in Christchurch. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has confirmed that one of the four people taken into custody in New Zealand’s mosque shootings is an Australian.
The reported shooter, Brenton Tarrant, who claimed responsibility for the shootings said in a manifesto that he was a 28-year-old white Australian who came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack. Tarrant live-streamed his rampage to Facebook from a head-mounted camera.
Two IEDs (improvised explosive devices) were also found and neutralised by the military, police said. He said one of those detained was later released, while officers were working to determine if the other two were involved.