Christchurch, Mar 15: At least 49 worshippers were killed in attacks in New Zealand on the Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and the Linwood Mosque in the city's outer suburb, in what is being seen as the worst attack on Muslims in a western country. The gunman reportedly fired dozens of bullets at people trying to run away or lying down in huddled groups in corners of the rooms.
The incident took place around 1.45pm local time when the gunman, who called himself Brenton Tarrant on Twitter, entered the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch on Friday during afternoon prayers and opened fire.
New Zealand police have confirmed there have been multiple fatalities and four people are in custody, three men and one woman, after shootings at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday.
The gunman who livestreamed himself opening fire at the Al Noor Mosque in Christchurch also posted a manifesto online addressing his reasons for the attack.
It has been learnt that the Bangladesh cricket team were at the Hagley Park mosque when the incident occurred and escaped from the mosque.
Christchurch Mosque shooting updates:
Rahul Gandhi tweet:
The #NewZealandShooting is a despicable act of terrorism, that must be condemned unequivocally. The world stands in need of compassion & understanding. Not bigotry & hate filled extremism. My condolences to the families of the victims. My prayers go out to those who were injured.Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) March 15, 2019
The Pakistan Cricket Board on Friday condemned the terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead. The attack also led to the cancellation of the Bangladesh team's tour of New Zealand. The PCB expressed its grief and shock over the incident with the Peshawar and Islamabad franchise teams wearing black armbands during their match in the Pakistan Super League here. In a statement, PCB Chairman Ehsan Mani said: "On behalf of the Pakistan cricket fraternity, I would like to condemn in the strongest possible way the cowardly, uncivilised and inhuman terrorist attacks on the innocent worshippers in Christchurch mosques."
Facebook said Friday it had "quickly" removed a live video from the suspected gunman in twin mosque shootings that killed at least 49 people in New Zealand. The 28-year-old shooter, who has been arrested, published a racist manifesto on Twitter before livestreaming his rampage showing him repeatedly shooting at worshipers from close range.
India on Friday said its High Commission in New Zealand was ascertaining more details about the possibility of Indians being affected by the terror attacks on two Christchurch mosques and urged the community to contact the mission for any assistance. At least 49 worshippers were killed in attacks on the Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and the Linwood Mosque in the city's outer suburb, in what appeared to be the worst attack on Muslims in a western country. In New Delhi, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said that India's High Commission in New Zealand is in touch with local authorities for more information. "Our mission is in touch with local authorities to ascertain more details. It is a sensitive matter and therefore we can't give confirmed numbers/names till we are absolutely certain," he said.
Indian Ambassador to New Zealand Sanjiv Kohli's tweet.
As per updates received from multiple sources there are 9 missing persons of indian nationality/ origin. Official confirmation still awaited. Huge crime against humanity. Our prayers with their familiessanjiv kohli (@kohli_sanjiv) March 15, 2019
In a letter to PM of New Zealand, PM Modi stressed India’s strong condemnation of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and of all those who support such acts of violence. PM Modi stressed that hatred and violence have no place in diverse and democratic societies.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi has expressed his deep shock and sadness at the loss of scores of innocent lives in the heinous terrorist attack at the places of worship in Christchurch, New Zealand today.
"Only two of the players had stayed back in the hotel, and rest of the squad had gone there. We were very close to the mosque, and we could see from the bus. We must have been about 50 yards from the mosque," said Mashud.
"We were really lucky. Had we reached even three or four minutes earlier, we probably would have been inside the mosque," said Bangladesh cricket team manager Khaled Mashud on Friday after narrowly escaping the deadliest terror attack in New Zealand's history.
Ahmed Jahangir is one of the injured in New Zealand Mosque attack. His brother Khurshid Jahangir told ANI, "My brother was injured & is now recovering in a hospital. He is currently undergoing surgery. We have seen in the video he has been shot in the chest. We are trying to reach the Embassy."
She says "at this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders."
The monarch paid tribute to the emergency services and volunteers offering support to the wounded.
The monarch sent a message to the governor general of New Zealand, saying she was "saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives."
Queen Elizabeth II has expressed her condolences to the people of New Zealand following the attacks on mosques in Christchurch.
As Twitterati noted, Trump did not even write a single line of condolence.
The US president only tweeted a link to the rightwing news website Breitbart, the founder of which, Steve Bannon, was his media adviser for a while.
United States president Donald Trump, who the alleged shooter has named in his manifesto as someone he deeply admires, has responded in an odd fashion to the tragedy which left 49 people dead.
Pope voices solidarity with Muslims after New Zealand attacks.
Surrounding houses, along with the property in question, have been evacuated.
Police have swarmed into a property on Somerville Street in the city of Dunedin in response to a situation having arisen in relation to the attacks in Christchurch.
Indian high commissioner to New Zealand said that 9 Indians/ Indian origin persons have been reported missing after the terrible terror attack in Christchurch.
"This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families," he tweeted.
I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam & 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles. https://t.co/5bBREoayLzImran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) March 15, 2019
Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan said he blamed these terror attacks on the "current Islamophobia post-9/11" were the entire Muslim population has been blamed for the actions of a few.
New Zealand's national security threat level has undergone an enormous shift in the light of the surprise terrorist shooting attack and has been lifted from low to high.
The New South Wales counter-terrorism police are investigating the background of Brenton Tarrant, a former student at Grafton High, who is believed to be the man in his late 20s who carried out at least once of the two mass shootings at Christchurch, reports say.
Police have recovered a number of firearms from both of the scenes, Linwood Avenue and Deans Avenue, he added.
"Three other people were apprehended. We believe one of those persons who was armed and was at the scene may have had nothing to do with this incident, and the two other people that have been apprehended, again in possession of firearms in the general environment, we are working through to understand what their involvement is," he was quoted by The Guardian as having said.
In his statement, the NZ Police Commissioner Bush said the man in his late 20s (who is believed widely to be the Brenton Tarrant, who uploaded the live stream and his manifesto) will appear in the Christchurch Court on Saturday morning.
One of those arrested may have had nothing to do with the attack, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. The two other people arrested in possession of firearms are still being investigated, he added. Bush did not name the suspected attacker.
United Kingdom prime minister Theresa May offered her "deepest condolences" to the people of New Zealand in the aftermath of the shootings in Christchurch that killed 40 people.
A man, in his late 20s, has been charged with murder, say reports. Two others are in custody for possession of firearms. NZ Police Commissioner Mike Bush says 49 people have been killed in Christchurch mosque attacks.
Around 200 family members are on site awaiting news of their loved ones. Together with police we are providing support to these people," the Hospital noted.
"Forty-eight patients, ranging from young children to adults with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital. Injuries range from critical to minor. Additional patients with gunshot wounds were presented to other health facilities in the community," a statement by the hospital reads.
Police confirm incident outside Britomart train station in Auckland was a false alarm, reported BNO News.
The official handle of Auckland Transport has confirmed that the Britomart Station and its surrounding areas are all closed, leading to a temporary pause in train and bus services.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern had said in her press conference that she has received word from Morrison.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that he will request all institutions to fly the Australian flag at half mast out of "respect and condolence" for those who were killed in New Zealand.
An explosion was heard at Auckland's Britomart, barely moments after New Zealand prime minsiter Jacinda Ardern had finished briefing the media on the security situation in the aftermath of the Christchurch shootings.
Pakistan Prime Minister Imran khan tweeted,''Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.''
ICC Chief Executive David Richardson said,''Our thoughts & sincere condolences go out to families and friends of those affected by this horrendous incident in Christchurch. Both teams, staff & match officials are safe& ICC fully supports the decision to cancel the Test match.''
New Zealand’s three largest internet providers, Spark, Vodafone and Vocus, have announced they are blocking customers’ access to three websites located outside the country that are still hosting the livestream of one shooter’s rampage, an unprecedented restrictive measure Spark spokesman Andrew Pirie called "the responsible thing for the industry to do."
"I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person," he wrote.
Just heard news of the devastating reports from New Zealand Christchurch.ƿ૯ωძɿ૯ƿɿ૯ (@pewdiepie) March 15, 2019
I feel absolutely sickened having my name uttered by this person.
My heart and thoughts go out to the victims, families and everyone affected by this tragedy.
Swedish YouTube star Felix Kjellberg, popularly known as PewDiePie, has reacted to the fact that the alleged shooter Brenton Tarrant asked the viewers of his Facebook livestream to follow him, before going out on the rampage.
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed that 40 people have died in the two shootings. Those arrested were not on Intelligence agency watchlists, New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has confirmed.
Australian Prime Minister @ScottMorrisonMP says that the individual who has been taken into custody, over New Zealand shooting, is Australian-born citizen.
Police have asked all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advised people to refrain from visiting the places of worship.
"At this stage we will not be discussing the offenders’ possible motivations or the causes of this incident,"tweeted New Zealand Police.
After another few minutes, he leaves again, gets in his vehicle and drives away, talking to himself throughout."
A New York Times report describes what the live stream of the shooter showed. The 17-minute video, which appeared to be recorded on a helmet camera, shows his drive to the mosque, followed by a harrowing nearly two minutes of his firing on the worshipers in one of the mosques before fleeing the building and running back to his car and swapping weapons. He then is seen re-entering the mosque and again begins shooting, continuing to methodically move through the mosque. Several victims can be seen in the footage, many lying on top of one another motionless in a corner of the room.
Partridge wrote that Tarrant has family in Grafton of New South Wales. He is believed to have been living in New Zealand for the past three years.
Emma Partridge, a senior reporter of 9 News Sydney has revealed that the gunman allegedly involved in the New Zealand shooting is indeed 'Brenton Tarrant'.
The Christchurch Airport, which until now had been noting that operations have been going on as normal, wrote on Twitter that is "still open". However, some flights have been affected. "Aviation Security has increased its presence in the terminal as a precaution. We‘re caring for a number of people who are staying in the terminal while the advice from police is to stay indoors," it noted.
The gunman, Brenton Tarrant, wrote in his manifesto that he carried out the attack to "directly reduce immigration rates to European lands", noted news.com.au. He also said it was to take revenge for Ebba Akerlund, the 11-year-old child who was killed in a 2017 terror attack in Stockholm.
The gunman was an ardent supporter of US president Donald Trump and wrote about him in his manifesto. He also mentions his unquestioning loyalty to black Republican Candace Owens
"The gunman wrote of how he supported @realDonaldTrump 'as a symbol of renewed white identity & common purpose'...He goes on to reference @RealCandaceO: "The person who has influenced me above all is Candace Owens" https://t.co/4p6Ze9LUjY #Christchurch #ChristchurchMosqueAttackMichael Deibert (@michaelcdeibert) March 15, 2019
Strategic affairs analyst Divya Kumar Soti in a tweet said,"In this picture, you can see "Gaston IV of Bearn" written over Christchurch shooter's weaponry. Gaston was viscount of Bearn was also known as "the Crusader" and fought in Reconquista of Spain and seige of Antioch against Turk muslims during the First Crusade.''
"Police can now confirm the lock down of schools throughout Christchurch has been lifted," NZ police has tweeted. "We would like to reassure members of the public that there is a large Police presence in the city and the safety of the community is our priority," it added.
In his press conference where he announced that four have been taken into custody, New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush said police are now seeking to "saturate" the city area to ensure that schools and other institutions can come out of lockdown.
Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Winston Peters, tweeted that this was an "awfully, awfully, sad day for New Zealand." He added that there are lessons from the day which "we can call learn."
This is an awfully, awfully, sad day for New Zealand. There are lessons here from which we must all learn.Winston Peters (@winstonpeters) March 15, 2019
New Zealand police, reported CNN, has said that four people (three men and one woman) are in custody over the Christchurch mosque shootings, but they "cannot presume that the danger is gone."
Australian channel Nine News Melbourne has reported that there may be as many as 27 deaths in the twin mosque firings in Christchurch. AFP had reported local media as having quoted nine deaths.
A Twitter user Mustafa Hamdani has uploaded an image of the outside of the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch where the attack took place.
The New Zealand cricket team tweets out condolences through its official Twitter handle. Both the Bangladeshi and Kiwi teams and support staff groups are safe, it assured. The third Test between the two countries has been cancelled.
Our heartfelt condolences go out to the families and friends of those affected by the shocking situation in Christchurch. A joint decision between NZC and the @BCBtigers has been made to cancel the Hagley Oval Test. Again both teams and support staff groups are safe.BLACKCAPS (@BLACKCAPS) March 15, 2019
The mosques were packed with worshippers gathering for Friday afternoon prayers, and members of the Bangladesh cricket team were arriving when the shooter opened fire.
New Zealand police have warned all mosques countrywide to shut their doors after active shooters opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch city center.
There have been reports of a third shooting outside a hospital and an unconfirmed shooting at a high school.
Local media reported at least nine people were dead and the South Island city was placed in lockdown as police hunted for an "active shooter."
The third Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been called off following the shooting at a mosque in Christchurch.
One person is in custody and there have been people killed in two mosques, one on Deans Ave and one in Linwood.
The New Zealand police tweeted,''Police are aware there is extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch circulating online. We would strongly urge that the link not be shared. We are working to have any footage removed.''
TVNZ quoted the police as having confirmed that there have been multiple fatalities, and that there still is an active shooter scenario playing out. One person is in custody and there have been people killed in two mosques, one on Deans Ave and one in Linwood.
Air New Zealand has released a statement around travel to Christchurch, reported local news channel TVNZ. "We are deeply saddened by the shooting tragedy in #Christchurch city and our thoughts go out to all those involved. "We are offering flexibility to anyone booked to travel to or from Christchurch today."
Twitter, Facebook has suspended an account purportedly used by New Zealand mass shooting suspect, a journalist has reported. YouTube too suspended the account that was shared when he live streamed the massacre.
New Zeland Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says it’s ‘one of New Zealand’s darkest days’. Addressing media, She said,"Police have one suspect in custody, however there could be others. There are multiple scenes involved in this incident.''
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has just tweeted about the mosque shootings.
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.Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 15, 2019
Media in New Zealand are reporting a shooting at a second mosque in Linwood.
There are reports that the man who identified himself as Brenton Tarrant, 28, of Australia filmed self just before live streaming mass shooting at mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.
Australian diplomats in New Zealand are seeking information on whether any citizens were affected by the Christchurch mosque shooting.
The NZ Herald reports the gunman, believed to be Australian citizen, filmed as he shot victims in the mosque and wrote a 37-page manifesto declaring his intentions. Authorities are yet to confirm this.
Bangladeshi performance & strategic analyst Shrinivas Chandrasekaram also posted soon afterwards.
Just escaped active shooters!!! Heartbeats pumping badly and panic everywhere!! #ChristchurchMosqueShrinivas (@chinu1501) March 15, 2019
Canterbury Police have tweeted to avoid the area around Dean Avs stating that there was a critical incident in the area.
In response to a serious ongoing firearms incident in Christchurch all Christchurch schools have been placed into lockdown. Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behaviour immediately to 111.New Zealand Police (@nzpolice) March 15, 2019
The incident took place around 1.45pm local time when the team had gone to pray when the incident took place.
It was a narrow escape for the Bangladesh cricketers. ESPNCricinfo correspondent Mohammad Isam showed the Bangladesh cricketers Tamim Iqbal and Taijul Islam running back from Hagley Park back to the cricket ground.
Bangladesh team escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters. They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval. pic.twitter.com/VtkqSrljjVMohammad Isam (@Isam84) March 15, 2019
Local media said there were multiple casualties at one mosque and that another had been evacuated.
Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team were bussed to the mosque and were about to go inside when the incident happened.