‘Blood was splashing on me’: Witnesses describe horrific New Zealand mosque attack

17 March, 2019, 00:10 | Author: Myra Gill
  • Mosque attacker in Christchurch an Australian citizen Australian PM

They are us. The person who perpetrated this violence against us is not.

At least 49 people were gunned down dead in two mosques in New Zealand. "We must all stand together as humans to defeat this evil in all its forms".

Police later announced 41 people had been killed at the Al Noor mosque, seven at the Linwood Masjid Mosque, and one died at the hospital.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the twin shooting - the worst in her country's history - as a terror attack.

New Zealand was placed on its highest security threat level, Prime Minister Adern said, adding that four people in police custody, three men and one woman, held extremist views but had not been on any police watchlists.

Police found multiple firearms at both locations, as well as two improvised explosive devices attached to a vehicle that were going to be detonated as part of the attack.

Asked if the police were searching for any other suspects, he said: "We never assume that there aren't other people involved, that's why we've got an huge presence out there ... but we don't have named or identified people that we are looking for, but it would be wrong to assume that there is no-one else".

He said that key points in his radicalisation were the defeat of the French far-right leader Marine Le Pen in 2017 elections, and the death of 11-year-old Ebba Åkerlund in the 2017 Stockholm truck attack.

In a tweet, he attributed such terror acts to the post 9/11 Islamophobia under which the 1.3 billion Muslims of the world are being blamed for any act of terrorism by a single Muslim individual.

He also gave details about his upbringing in the manifesto, writing, "I am just a regular white man, from a regular family, who chose to take a stand to ensure a future for my people".

"I also pay tribute to the emergency services and volunteers who are providing support to those who have been injured".

"Police are now in attendance at a property of Somerville Street, Dunedin", the New Zealand force said on Twitter.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that he learned of the attack "with horror and profound sadness".

He "expressed condolences over loss of innocent lives in the heinous attack". Sorry for the Muslims senselessly murdered in their mosque.

Police departments in New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco said extra precautions will be taken at mosques beginning Friday, and London Mayor Sadiq Khan offered condolences and reassurances to the city's Muslim community.

Lebanon's Hezbollah militant group, which is considered a terrorist organization by Western countries, condemned the "policy of hatred that the United States is feeding around the world instead of prevailing religious values that call for forgiveness".

The MCB said two mosques in Newcastle and Manchester had been targeted by vandals who spray-painted Nazi swastika symbols in the past two months.

The White House also condemned the shootings.

Violent crime is rare in New Zealand and police do not usually carry guns.

"Our collective work against violence & hate must continue with renewed vigor".

The Bishop of Christchurch, the Rt Revd Peter Carrell, said in a statement: "Church leaders are absolutely devastated at the unprecedented situation in Christchurch this afternoon, and our hearts and prayers go to all involved".

Police said there are several people under arrest in connection with the attacks.



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