49 killed at mosques in 'one of New Zealand's darkest days'

17 March, 2019, 00:59 | Author: Myra Gill
  • A police officer patrols at a cordon near a mosque in central Christchurch New Zealand Friday

Police warned Muslims all over the country not to visit mosques "anywhere in New Zealand".

New Zealand police said they have detained four people in connection with the deadly shootings and have neutralised a number of improvised explosive devices found.

The 28-year-old Australian gunman Brenton Tarrant live-streamed the slaughter on Facboook and identifed himself on Twitter after 49 people were killed and dozens more were injured in terrorist shooting attacks at two Christchurch mosques. He would not say whether the same shooter was responsible for both attacks. "But I just ask people, don't share them".

Christchurch remains in lockdown with the authorities urging anyone planning to visit a mosque in New Zealand to refrain from doing so.

An anonymous post on Friday on the discussion site 8chan, known for a wide range of content including hate speech, said the writer was going to "carry out an attack against the invaders", and included links to a Facebook live stream, in which the Friday shooting appeared, and a manifesto.

She described it as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

He said that he had a friend in another mosque in the area had told him a gunman had opened fire there as well and five people were dead.

It follows a targeted attack at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand in which 49 people were killed at around 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT).


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, "We New Zealanders were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone this racism, or because we are an enclave of extremism, we were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things".

"It's a big mosque and there were more than 200 people inside".

Peneha, who lives next door, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in his driveway and fled. The mosques were packed with worshippers gathered for Friday prayers. After walking back outside and shooting a woman there, he gets back in his vehicle, where the song "Fire" by English rock band "The Crazy World of Arthur Brown" can be heard blasting from the speakers.

New Zealand, with a population of 5 million, has relatively loose gun laws and an estimated 1.5 million firearms, or roughly one for every three people. The singer bellows, "I am the god of hellfire!" and the gunman drives away. He said he was not a member of any organisation, but had donated to and interacted with many nationalist groups, though he acted alone and no group ordered the attack. The connection to PewDiePie was viewed as part of that strategy by many.

New Zealand is generally considered to be a welcoming country for migrants and refugees.

The Bangladesh cricket team is in Christchurch to play New Zealand in a third cricket test starting on Saturday. There will be so many people affected.

The shootings took place at two separate mosques in the Canterbury region of the city.

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