New Zealand mosque shooting updates: Imran Khan blames Christchurch attacks on 'post-9/11 Islamophobia'

FP Staff

Christchurch New Zealand Mosque Shooting LATEST updates: Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan "strongly condemned" the attack by White supremacists at Christchurch that killed 49 people in two mosques. He 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. Police Commissioner Mike Bush said as many as 1,000 police personnel are deployed in and around Christchurch.

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. 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. As Twitterati noted, Trump did not even write a single line of condolence.

As the Australian identity of the man considered to be the main suspect, Brenton Tarrant, emerges, the Australian PM has been among those who have issued a call to maintain peace. He has called Tarrant "a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist".

Morrison, who had earlier said Australia was a country of all faiths, also criticised the rightwing Senator Fraser Anning who had blamed the New Zealand attack on immigraton.

A man, believed to be in his late twenties, has been charged with murder, say reports. Two others are in custody for possession of firearms. New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said a revised total of 49 people have been killed in the Christchurch mosque attacks.

Forty-eight patients, ranging from young children to adults with gunshot wounds are being treated at Christchurch Hospital, the hospital said in a statement. Twelve operating theatres are currently in use and due to the nature of some of the injuries, many people will need multiple surgeries, the hospital said.

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. New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern had said in her press conference that she has received word from Morrison.

The explosions heard at Auckland's Britomart Station have been confirmed as controlled detonations. Fresh explosions were heard there, barely moments after New Zealand prime minisiter Jacinda Ardern had finished briefing the media on the security situation in the aftermath of the Christchurch shootings.

New Zealand Herald has reported that armed police are stationed at Auckland's Britomart Train Station. A section of Galway Street in the city has been cordoned off around two backpacks left unattended.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has assured that the main gunman has been arrested. She added that three individuals had been apprehended. Police Commissioner Mike Bush had earlier said there were four people who were taken into custody.

She has confirmed that 40 people have died in the two shootings.

Police have said that a "significant'' number of people have been killed in the two shootings at Christchurch mosques. However, they have not confirmed the precise number. Local media has pegged the number of people dead between nine and 27.

Thanking people for their continued support, New Zealand Police tweeted that at this stage it will not be discussing the offenders' possible motivations or the causes of behind the incident. The cops reiterated their demand for all mosques nationally to shut their doors, and advised people to refrain from visiting the places of worship.

The gunman, Brenton Tarrant, wrote in his manifesto that he carried out the attack to "directly reduce immigration rates to European lands", noted

Quoting from this manifesto, the news portal said Tarrant has described his reasons for the attack as to "show the invaders that our lands will never be their lands, our homelands are our own and that, as long as a white man still lives, they will NEVER conquer our lands and they will never replace our people". The emphasis on "never" is Tarrant's own.

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 suspect, who identified himself on Twitter as 'Brenton Tarrant' from Australia, had livestreamed his deadly attack on Facebook. In a report, the 73-page manifesto which Tarrant posted online is quoted. Tarrant, a 28-year-old has described himself as "just a regular White man".

He said he was born "to a working class, low-income family €¦ who decided to take a stand to ensure a future for my people".

New Zealand police, reported CNN, has said that four people, including 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. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has called it New Zealand's "darkest day".

New Zealand police have warned all mosques countrywide to shut their doors after active shooters opened fire in two mosques in Christchurch city centre.

Local media told AFP that at least nine people were dead and the South Island city was placed in lockdown as police hunted for an "active shooter."

"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," the New Zealand police tweeted.

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.

Scared hostage reports shooter held outside Papanui.> Twitter has suspended an account purportedly used by New Zealand mass shooting suspect, a journalist has reported. Facebook too has suspended the account that was used to live stream the massacre.

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern condemned the incident and said, "This is one of New Zealand's darkest days. It was an unprecedented act of violence. Police has apprehended a person, but I don't have further details of him yet," she added.

Six people have been reported> dead, New Zealand local media reported and they also reported of a second shooting at another mosque in Christchurch itself. Bangladesh's cricket team escaped unscathed after a shooting at a mosque in central Christchurch, an official told AFP on Friday.

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.

Armed police in New Zealand swarmed central Christchurch Friday amid a shooting at a mosque in the South Island city.

"A serious and evolving situation is occurring in Christchurch with an active shooter," police said in a statement.

"Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high."

Local media said there were multiple casualties at one mosque and said another had been evacuated, and there were reports that members of the Bangladesh cricket team were also present at one site.

Police commissioner Mike Bush said all schools in the city had been placed in lockdown in response to "a serious ongoing firearms incident".

"Police urge anyone in central Christchurch to stay off the streets and report any suspicious behaviour," he said in a statement.

An eyewitness told Radio New Zealand he heard shots fired and four people were lying on the ground, with "blood everywhere".

ESPN Cricinfo reporter Mohammed Isam said members of the Bangladesh cricket team, who are due to play a Test match in Christchurch tomorrow escaped from the mosque.

"They ran back through Hagley Park back to the Oval," he tweeted.

Also See: New Zealand mosque shootings: 49 dead in two 'terrorist attacks' in Christchurch; shooter an Australian, confirms Oz PM

Australian Senator Fraser Anning draws flak for calling Islam 'fascist' religion, targeting Muslims for New Zealand mosque attack

New Zealand mosque shooting: Don't share 'distressing footage' of Christchurch attack, NZ Police warns after gunman video surfaces

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