49 people have been killed and more than 20 injured in shootings at 2 different mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, today, i.e., Friday, March 15, 2019 at 1:40 p.m. local time.
The 2 mosques that were targeted were Masjid Al Noor located at Deans Avenue and Linwood Mosque on Linwood Avenue. 41 people were killed at Al Noor Mosque and 7 people at Linwood Mosque. All the injured were immediately rushed to Christchurch Hospital for treatment. 1 person died in the hospital. A lot of worshippers had gathered at the 2 mosques to offer the Friday prayer.
An eye witness said that a man, dressed in black, opened fire at Al Noor Mosque killing people madly. The eye witness also said that the shooter ran away before the police arrived. The entire attack lasted 10-15 minutes.
Besides, one of the gunman live-streamed the footage of his terror attack on Facebook. The act of violence was filmed with a head-mounted camera. The live footage showed him firing indiscriminately at men, women and children from a close range inside the Al-Noor mosque.
The gunman who identified himself as a 28 years old Australian has published 87 pages manifesto filled with anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim ideas.
The New Zealand Police have urged people to not to share those videos.
At the same time, Facebook’s New Zealand Spokesperson – Mia Garlick said “New Zealand Police alerted us to a video on Facebook shortly after the livestream commenced and we removed both the shooter’s Facebook account and the video. We’re also removing any praise or support for the crime and the shooter or shooters as soon as we’re aware.”
The Prime Minister of New Zealand – Jacinda Ardern said, “This is, and will be, one of New Zealand’s darkest days. What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence. For now my thoughts and I’m sure the thoughts of all New Zealanders are with those who have been affected their families.”
She also added, “Many of those who would have been affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand. They may even be refugees here. They have chosen to make New Zealand their home and it is their home… they are us. The persons who perpetuated this violence against us, have no place in New Zealand.”
The Prime Minister of Australia – Scott Morrison has described one alleged gunman, with Australian citizenship, as an “extremist, right-wing” terrorist. Scott Morrison has asked for flags to be flown at half-mast out of respect for those killed in the attack.
He also tweeted, “I’m horrified by the reports I’m following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins. Australians stand with all New Zealanders today during this dark time where hate and violence has stolen their peace and innocence. Kia kaha (stay strong).”
The authorities have advised all the mosques in the city to remain closed until further notice.
Tahir Nawaz of the International Muslim Association of New Zealand said, “The whole community is shocked. They would never have expected anything like this [to happen] in this peaceful country. As a result of that [the attack], we are restricting our activities in the mosque and we are trying to keep safety in our area.”
The New Zealand Police Commissioner – Mike Bush said, “Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high. Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice.”
He also informed that Police they have taken 4 people – 3 men and 1 women – in custody. The police said that all the 4 in suspects possessed firearms, but they may had had nothing to do with the terror attack.
Besides, the police have diffused 2 Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) that were attached to a vehicle.
Separately, the Cricket Test Match between Bangladesh and New Zealand, which was scheduled to start from Saturday, March 16, 2019, has been cancelled for security reasons.
Also, a lot of other countries have expressed their grief over the heinous attack.
The Prime Minister of Malaysia – Mahathir Mohamad said, “We hope New Zealand would arrest these terrorists and do the necessary under the law of the country.”
The Mayor of London – Sadiq Kahn tweeted, “Heart breaking news from New Zealand this morning where innocent people have been murdered because of their faith. London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack. London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy.”