Christchurch mosque shootings: No less than 49 individuals have been killed.
No less than 49 individuals have been killed and 20 severely injured after mass shootings at two mosques within the New Zealand metropolis of Christchurch Friday, in a rigorously deliberate and unprecedented assault that has shocked the normally peaceable nation.
New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, known as the incident a terrorist assault in a Friday press convention, saying the suspects held “extremist views” that haven’t any place in New Zealand or the world.
Forty-one individuals have been killed on the al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue, mentioned Mike Bush, New Zealand’s Police Commissioner. Seven individuals died on the Linwood mosque on Linwood Avenue, and one particular person died from their accidents in hospital.
Each mosques are in Christchurch metropolis middle. Police positioned the 2 areas on lockdown.
A complete of 48 sufferers, together with younger youngsters with gunshot wounds, have been admitted to Christchurch hospital for remedy.
Bush mentioned 4 individuals have been taken into custody — three males and one girl. Police don’t consider there are another suspects however mentioned it was nonetheless an open investigation.
Bush mentioned a male in his late 20s has been charged with homicide and can seem on the Christchurch court docket Saturday morning native time.
One of many 4 detained on the scene was in possession of firearms however police mentioned they might have had nothing to do with incident. Two others have been additionally arrested in possession of firearms and police are nonetheless making an attempt to grasp their involvement, Bush mentioned. Not one of the 4 had been on any safety watch lists previous to the assault.
Two improvised explosive units have been hooked up to a car as a part of the assault. One system has been disabled and authorities are engaged on the opposite.
“This goes to the seriousness of the state of affairs,” Bush mentioned.
Plenty of weapons have been additionally recovered at each the Linwood and Dean Avenue areas.
Police have been nonetheless treating the incident as ongoing into Friday night native time and urged Christchurch residents to remain indoors and monitor the police web site and social media.
The state of affairs was additionally thought-about not restricted to Christchurch, and Bush requested “anybody who was considering of going to a mosque wherever in New Zealand immediately to not go. To shut your doorways till you hear from us once more.”
Police additionally evacuated properties near a “location of curiosity” within the southern metropolis of Dunedin, some 225 miles from Christchurch late Friday night time native time.
In a press convention, Prime Minister Ardern described the assault as “one in every of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
“What has occurred right here is a unprecedented and unprecedented act of violence,” she mentioned, including that the attackers have “no place in New Zealand.”
“For now my ideas and I’m positive the ideas of all New Zealanders are with those that are being affected and with the households,” she mentioned.
Police mentioned they’ve mobilized each nationwide police useful resource to answer the incident.
Assault broadcast reside on social media
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison mentioned that no less than a type of taken into custody is Australian. He mentioned the capturing was the work of a “extremist proper wing, violent terrorist” at a press convention Friday.
Morrison mentioned he has requested for flags to be flown at half-mast out of respect for these killed within the assault.
“Australians stand with all New Zealanders immediately throughout this darkish time the place hate and violence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha (keep robust),” Morrison tweeted earlier.
Ardern confirmed that one of many attackers was Australian.
Authorities mentioned they “won’t be discussing the offenders’ potential motivations or the causes of this incident” at this stage.
Nonetheless, in a social media put up simply earlier than the assault, an account that’s believed to belong to one of many attackers posted a hyperlink to an 87-page manifesto that was crammed with anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim concepts and explanations for an assault. The manifesto was not signed.
As well as, police are conscious of a video shared on-line and broadcast reside through the assault, which purports to point out a gunman strolling into an unnamed mosque and opening fireplace.
“We’d strongly urge that the (video) hyperlink not be shared. We’re working to have any footage eliminated,” the New Zealand police mentioned.
In an announcement, a spokesperson for Fb New Zealand, Mia Garlick, mentioned movies that appeared to point out the Christchurch shootings have been shortly taken down.
“New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Fb shortly after the livestream commenced and we eliminated each the shooter’s Fb account and the video. We’re additionally eradicating any reward or help for the crime and the shooter or shooters as quickly as we’re conscious,” she mentioned.
CNN has not been in a position to independently verify any details about any of the attackers and the alleged video at this stage.
Gunman opened fireplace ‘for 10 to 15 minutes”
Armed police have been deployed after first receiving reviews of the shootings at 1:40 p.m. Friday native time. It’s the busiest day for a lot of mosques world wide when Muslims convene for Friday prayers.
Talking to CNN, witness Mohan Ibn Ibrahim mentioned he was contained in the mosque when the capturing started and that he heard the gunman “repeatedly capturing for 10 to 15 minutes.”
“It’s an enormous mosque and there have been greater than 200 individuals inside. The gunmen got here from the bottom. Gunshots went on for a very long time. We needed to soar the wall to flee. I noticed numerous damaged glass and bricks on the bottom of the mosque,” he mentioned.
“I got here to the road I noticed one particular person acquired shot on his chest,” he mentioned, including that the ambulance and police then arrived on the scene.
He mentioned that he had a buddy in one other mosque within the space who instructed him a gunman had opened fireplace there as effectively and 5 individuals have been useless.
“I couldn’t contact two of my mates who’re within the mosque as effectively,” he mentioned.
One witness, who didn’t wish to be named, mentioned he was driving by the scene and noticed a person with a “along with his 3- or 4-year-old daughter” who had been shot within the again.
“He was screaming like get her to the hospital and the ambulance couldn’t are available till it was secured so I simply acquired my truck and loaded up him, and his daughter, and this different man had been shot within the leg, and took them to the hospital,” he mentioned.
One man outdoors the mosque mentioned that he prayed that the gunman would “run out of bullets.”
“I used to be considering that he should run out bullets you realize, so what I did was principally ready and praying to God, oh God please let this man run out of bullets,” he mentioned. He mentioned a person instructed him to stay nonetheless after which gunman shot the person “straight within the chest.”
The capturing on the mosque on Deans Avenue subsequent to Hagely Park, is close to to Cathedral Sq., the place youngsters have been participating in a worldwide protest to boost consciousness for local weather change.
“In case your little one was attending the local weather change protest in Cathedral Sq. and also you wish to verify if they’re within the Civic Workplaces, please name the Council Contact Centre on 03-941-8999,” Christchurch Metropolis Council mentioned.
Christchurch is a coastal metropolis of 404,500 residents. It’s the third most populous metropolis in New Zealand behind Auckland and Wellington. It has an agricultural economic system.
In 2010 and 2011 the town suffered a sequence of devastating earthquakes, with essentially the most harmful at 6.Three magnitude, which killed almost 200 individuals and destroyed 1000’s of buildings.
Simply 1% of New Zealand’s inhabitants of virtually 5 million are Muslim, in response to authorities statistics, lower than 50,000 individuals in 2013.
Journalist Chris Lynch, a radio host on New Zealand station ZB Radio, instructed CNN that one of many shootings had occurred at “the most important mosque in all of Christchurch.”
He described Christchurch as a “very peaceable metropolis” that’s nonetheless getting over the devastating 6.Three magnitude earthquake that hit in 2011.