40 dead in terror attack on New Zealand mosques


AFP, 15-03-2019 10:07:23


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40 dead in terror attack on New Zealand mosques

New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern says 40 people killed in mosque attack

HIGHLIGHTS

Thirty fatalities occurred at the Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch.

Seven of the dead were inside the suburban Linwood mosque and three died outside the same mosque

Two mosques were attacked: the Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch and the suburban Linwood mosque

Gunmen in New Zealand attacked worshippers in two mosques early Friday in Christchurch causing multiple fatalities.  Police have arrested four people including one woman. Terrorists targeted Al Noor mosque and another one in the suburb of Linwood. Follow the updates here:

Forty killed, more than 20 injured  

Forty people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in mass shootings at two mosques in New Zealand’s Christchurch on Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Ardern said New Zealand had been placed on its highest security threat level. She said four people in police custody held extremist views, but had not been on any police watchlists.

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," she said. "From what we know, it does appear to have been well planned."

"Two explosive devices attached to suspect vehicles have now been found and they have been disarmed," she added.

Thirty fatalities occurred at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch. Seven of the dead were inside the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque and three died outside the same mosque. A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings said in a manifesto that he was a 28-year-old white Australian who came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack.

Lockdown lifted after Christchurch mosque attacks: police

New Zealand police on Friday lifted a lockdown put in place after deadly armed assaults on two Christchurch mosques, allowing frantic parents to pick up their children.

"Police can now confirm the lock down of schools throughout Christchurch has been lifted," New Zealand Police said in a statement.

Explosives found in Vehicles

New Zealand police say they’ve defused a number of improvised explosive devices found on vehicles after mosque shootings, reports Associated Press.

What witnesses saw at Al Noor Mosque

Witnesses told media that a man dressed in a military-style, camouflage outfit, and carrying an automatic rifle had started randomly shooting people in the Al Noor mosque.

After parking his vehicle he took two guns and walked a short distance to the entrance of the mosque.

He then opened fire. Over the course of five minutes, he repeatedly shoots worshippers, leaving well over a dozen bodies in one room alone. He returned to the car during that period to change guns, and went back to the mosque to shoot anyone showing signs of life.

A Palestinian man who was in one of the mosques said he saw someone being shot in the head.

"I heard three quick shots then after about 10 seconds it started again. It must have been an automat"Then people started running out. Some were covered in blood," he said, adding that he joined the fleeing crowd and managed to escape the scene.

The Masjid al Noor in central Christchurch was filled with worshippers when the attack happened, as was the second mosque in suburban Linwood.

One witness told stuff.co.nz he was praying when he heard shooting - and then saw his wife lying dead on the footpath outside when he fled.

Another man said he saw children being shot.

"There were bodies all over," he said.

An eyewitness told Radio New Zealand that he heard shots fired and four people were lying on the ground, with "blood everywhere"ic - no one could pull a trigger that quick," the man, who did not wish to be named, told AFP.

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