At least 49 people are dead in what New Zealand’s Prime Minister is calling a terrorist attack in Christchurch.
A shooter opened fire on worshipers who had been gathering for Friday prayer. At least 41 people were killed at Masjid Al Noor mosque on Deans Avenue and the others at Linwood Avenue mosque – the two are about a 15 minute drive from one another. At least 40 other people were injured. This happened at 1:40 pm New Zealand time. New Zealand Police have arrested four people- three men and a woman. Officials say they have no reason to believe there are no other people involved.
The armed gunman- who identified himself online as Australian citizen Brenton Tarrant- livestreamed himself during the shooting. He is now charged with murder. In the video you can see him walking up to the mosque with a gun in hand. Reports suggest he also published a 84 page anti-immigrant manifesto, that started off quoting a Dylan Thomas poem, Do not go gentle into that good night, and then moves onto a rant about white genocide, to Twitter and the online forum 8 Chan. The manifesto allegedly had white supremacist ideas in it.
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, describes this as a planned terrorist attack saying the shooter holds extremist views that have no place in this world.
The person who has committed this violent act has no place here. To those in Christchurch; I encourage you to stay inside and follow the instructions of @nzpolice. The Police Commissioner will be making a public statement at 5pm. I will update everyone again later this evening.
— Jacinda Ardern (@jacindaardern) March 15, 2019
The Prime Minister of Australia also took to Twitter to express his condolences.
The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, right-wing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting. Those views have no place in Australia, let alone the Australian Parliament.
— Scott Morrison (@ScottMorrisonMP) March 15, 2019
Due to the attack, an international cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been cancelled after players from Bangladesh just missed being part of the mass shooting.
New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said “On behalf of New Zealand Cricket heartfelt condolences to those affected. I’ve spoken to my counterpart at Bangladesh cricket – we agree it’s inappropriate to play cricket at this time.”
Players and members of the team’s coaching staff were reportedly on their bus, approaching the Masjid Al Noor mosque in Hagley Park when the shooting started.
The impact of the attack in New Zealand is having a world wide impact – including in Hamilton. This morning we got reactin from Abdi Aziz Osman- a board member from Hamilton Mosque.