Forty people have died and four people are in custody after shootings at two mosques in New Zealand city; Mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques – rolling updates
Forty people have been shot dead and 20 injured in attacks at two mosques during Friday afternoon prayers in Christchurch in what is the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” as police uncovered multiple explosive devices attached to cars and Commissioner Mike Bush urged all mosques across the country to close their doors for the time being.
Four people were taken into custody – three men and one woman – for what Ardern described as a terrorist attack. One person was later released. Ardern condemned the ideology of the people behind the shootings, saying: “You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you.
New Zealand’s threat level has been raised from low to high and none of the suspects were on terrorism watchlists, Ardern said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison called a “rightwing extremist attack” and said one suspect was Australian-born, without giving further details.
As shots began to ring out, police put the city in lockdown and evacuated nearby climate change protests, with children separate from their relatives looked after by council staff until it was safe.
The deaths occurred at Al Noor mosque on Dean’s Road and the Linwood Islamic Centre on Linwood Avenue, police said. It later emerged 30 were killed at Al Noor mosque and 10 killed at Linwood.