Christchurch shooting; 40 killed, over 20 injured

2019-03-15 at 11:45

Forty people have been killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incidents as a terrorist attack, and one of the country’s “darkest days”.

New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush confirms one woman and three men have been arrested in connection with the Christchurch shootings and mosque attacks.

Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of those arrested was an Australian citizen.

He described the suspected attacker as an “extremist right-wing violent terrorist”.

Witnesses told local media they ran for their lives and saw people bleeding on the ground outside the Al Noor mosque.

A second mosque in the suburb of Linwood has been evacuated, and Police Commissioner Mike Bush said “multiple fatalities” were recorded at two locations.

As yet, far fewer details have emerged from the second site.

Police emphasise that the situation is still evolving and have not said how many people have been injured or killed.

They said they had responded to a number of explosive devices attached to vehicles that also stopped.

Authorities have advised all mosques in the city to shut down until further notice, saying this was an unprecedented act of violence.

It is not yet known how many shooters there were, but the Herald reports that one gunman is believed to be an Australian who has written a manifesto outlining his intentions.

In it, he espouses far-right ideology and anti-immigrant ideology.

Footage taken by one shooter has emerged, which he appears to have live-streamed as he shot victims in a mosque. Police called on the public not to share the “extremely distressing” material online.

Facebook said it had removed the shooter’s Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as any support voiced for that crime. The sequence of events remains unclear and has mostly come via eyewitness reports to local media.