There has been a mass shooting at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday afternoon. The attack targeted hundreds of worshippers at the Masjid Al Noor mosque at Mt Albert and another mosque on Linwood Avenue in Christchurch during Friday prayers.
DEATH TOLL AND INJURIES:
Multiple people have been killed and numerous injured. Several hundred people were inside. NZ PM Jacinda Arden has confirmed at least 40 people are dead and a further 25 are critical.
WHO IS RESPONSIBLE:
Police have taken four people into custody — three men and one woman. It remains unclear if more people were involved. One shooter has been identified as 28-year-old Australian man Brenton Tarrant.
Schools have gone into lockdown and people have been urged to stay indoors. Worshippers have been urged to stay away from mosques and police have asked all mosques across the country to shut their doors until further notice.
LIVE STREAM OF SHOOTING:
A gunman streamed his attack live and the 17-minute video has been shared on social media. Police have urged users not to share the distressing footage and they are working to have any videos removed.
WHAT HAVE POLICE FOUND:
Police officers found weapons and improvised explosive devices in the cars of the people arrested. The IEDs were defused safely by the military.
WHAT DID THE PM SAY:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said it was one of the country’s “darkest days”. She said the victims were people who had made New Zealand their home, and that the perpetrators had no place in the country.
WERE ANY AUSTRALIANS CAUGHT UP IN THE VIOLENCE:
It’s too early to say if any Australian citizens fell victim to the shooters, however the Australian women’s under 19 cricket team was in Christchurch. They have been confirmed safe, their tour has been cancelled and they are headed home.
WERE THERE ANY WITNESSES:
A number of witnesses have spoken to media representatives, talking about scenes of violence, chaos and confusion.