Top

New Zealand mosque shootings: 40 killed, four detained

"Again we are unsure if there are any other locations outside of that area. We have mobilised every police resource in the Canterbury location to respond to this and we are also in the process of mobilising every national police resource to keep people safe," Bush told the media here.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima SiddiquiBy Saima Siddiqui

Published on 15 March 2019 5:14 AM GMT

New Zealand mosque shootings: 40 killed, four detained
X
New Zealand mosque shootings: Three men and a woman detained
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Whatsapp
  • Telegram
  • Linkedin
  • Print

Christchurch: New Zealand police has arrested four people so far in relation to a mass shootings at two mosques during Friday afternoon prayers, killing nearly 40 people in the city of Christchurch.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush informed media that the four people, including three men and a woman were detained following the horrific act of mass killing at two mosques, Al Noor and Linwood Masjid.

According to a media report around 40 people were killed and several others injured when two gunmen opened fire on worshippers, however, no official announcement on death toll has been made by New Zealand authorities.

As per reports Bangladesh cricket team was also offering Friday prayers at masjid Al Noor, one of the two mosques, but they were all reported safe as per a tweet that stated that the team had "escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters".

Player Tamim Iqbal tweeted that the "entire team got saved from active shooters".

Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team had gone to mosque by bus and were about to go inside when the incident took place.

A video footage widely circulated on social media, apparently taken by a gunman and posted online live as the attack unfolded, showed him driving to one mosque, entering it and shooting randomly at people inside.

The bodies of worshippers, possibly dead or wounded, lay huddled on the floor of the mosque, as the video showed. The shootings took place at the Al Noor Mosque and Linwood Masjid.

"It's a big mosque and there were more than 200 people inside. The gunmen came from the backside. Gunshots went on for a long time. We had to jump the wall to escape. I saw lots of broken glass and bricks on the backside of the mosque," he said.

One of the survivors inside the mosque told media that shooter was "continuously shooting for ten to 15 minutes."

"It's a big mosque and there were more than 200 people inside. The gunmen came from the backside. Gunshots went on for a long time. We had to jump the wall to escape. I saw lots of broken glass and bricks on the backside of the mosque," he said.

"I came to the street I saw one person got shot on his chest," he said, adding that the ambulance and police then arrived on the scene," he further added.

Addressing a media conference in New Plymouth, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the events in Christchurch as "one of New Zealand's darkest days" and condemn the appalling attack, "Clearly what has happened here is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence."

In her another tweet the Prime Minister urged people to stay in doors and follow police instructions. She also said that the Police Commissioner will be making a public statement at 5pm.

Police Commissioner Mike Bush, howewver, confirmed "multiple fatalities", adding that there was one person in custody "but we are unsure if there are other people".

"Again we are unsure if there are any other locations outside of that area. We have mobilised every police resource in the Canterbury location to respond to this and we are also in the process of mobilising every national police resource to keep people safe," Bush told the media here.

One gunman, believed to be Australian, filmed as he shot victims in the mosque - and wrote a manifesto declaring his intentions, saying that "it is a terrorist attack", according to Bush.

There were also reports of a third active shooting unfolding outside Christchurch Hospital and and a car bomb in Strickland St, but these two incidents were yet to be verified.

Authorities advised people not to go to mosques until further notice. All Christchurch schools are on lockdown.

Saima Siddiqui

Saima Siddiqui

Next Story