New Zealand shootings: Forty-nine dead in terrorist gun attack at two mosques

At least 49 people were killed in a terrorist gun attack on two mosques packed with worshippers in New Zealand.

One gunman who identified himself on social media as Australian-born Brenton Tarrant, 28, walked into a mosque in Christchurch at the start of Friday prayers and began firing at random.
script async src="//"> In a sickening twist, he uploaded footage of the attack to Facebook with a 17-minute video showing him firing mercilessly at people trying desperately to flee. Facebook said the video had been “quickly removed”. The Uniqueresearching has chosen not to publish the footage.

At least 48 more people, including children, were injured and 20 were said to be critically hurt after the massacre, the deadliest in the country’s history.

A wounded man is loaded into an ambulance from outside a mosque in central Christchurch (AP)
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described it as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days”, saying: “What has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

There was condemnation from around the world. Theresa May sent her “deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch”.There was still confusion today over the number of people involved in the shootings.

The shooter live streamed the attack online (AP)
Police arrested three other suspects  — two men and a woman — and defused explosive devices in what appeared to be a carefully planned racist attack.

Footage from the live-stream showed the shooters weapon before he attacked the mosque. (AP)
But one of those held was said by police to be unconnected to shooting and one member of the public may have been armed and traded fire with the gunman.

One man, understood to be Tarrant, was charged with murder and was due to appear in court today.

Australia’s prime minister Scott Morrison described the suspected attacker as an “extremist Right-wing violent terrorist.”

Tarrant described himself as “regular white man from a regular family” in a rambling 74-page “manifesto” published online. He claimed to be inspired to commit the atrocity by Anders Breivik, who slaughtered 77 people in Norway in 2011.

In the video posted online, he is dressed in military-style fatigues and armed with assault rifles as he drives  to the scene, before walking into the mosque saying: “Let’s get this party started.”

Of the 49 fatalities, 41 were killed at the Masjid Al Noor Mosque and seven at the nearby suburban Linwood Avenue mosque. Three were outside the mosque itself. A 49th died in hospital.

Officers responded to reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at about 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT), and urged people in the area to stay indoors. All schools in the city were put into lockdown as the situation unfolded.

Ramzan Ali, who attends the Masjid Al Noor mosque, told Newshub: “He just came in and was shooting. I actually didn’t see him, I was just lying down on the bench thinking, ‘If I get up I’ll get shot’.

“The blood was splashing on me and I thought, ‘Oh my God, what’s going to happen to me now?’ Fortunately I’m alive.”


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