Terrorist Attacks at New Zealand Mosques Leave 49 People Dead
O.C.P(web desk): Attacks on two Christchurch mosques left at least 49 dead Friday, with one gunman — identified as an Australian extremist — apparently livestreaming the assault that triggered the lockdown of the New Zealand city.
The two known targets were the Masjid al Noor in central Christchurch, and a second mosque in suburban Linwood. Witnesses spoke of victims being shot at close range, with women and children also believed to be among those killed.
“This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. “Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”
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.
The Bangladesh cricket team was present for prayers when the shooting occurred but all members were safe, a team coach told Reuters.
Bangladeshi cricketer Tamim Iqbal Khan said on Twitter: “Entire team got saved from active shooters!!!”
New Zealand’s Police Commissioner Mike Bush said “as far as we know” multiple fatalities occurred at two mosques. Police had one person in custody but they were not sure if others were involved, and people should stay away from mosques.