New Zealand police are responding to mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques, and have confirmed that there are a number of fatalities.
Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, stated on Friday police had taken one suspect into custody however there may very well be others concerned and other people ought to keep indoors and stay in lock down.
“It’s clearly one among New Zealand’s darkest days,” she stated. “It’s an unprecedented act of violence . . . this isn’t who we’re.”
Police stated that had been “a lot of fatalities” in assaults at two mosques within the metropolis, with eyewitnesses reporting that the suspect shot a number of folks in each areas.
A gunman is reported to have filmed one of many mosque shootings and broadcast it reside on social media. Police urged folks to not share the distressing footage and stated they had been working to have it eliminated it from the web.
There have been only a few mass taking pictures occasions in New Zealand, with the worst incident occurring in 1990 when gunman David Grey killed 13 folks in a rampage after a dispute with a neighbour.
Ahmad Al-Mahmoud, who was in one of many mosques, instructed the Stuff.com information web site that the shooter was sporting army-style camouflage clothes, wore a helmet and carried a big gun with a number of ammunition.
“He got here via and began taking pictures everybody within the mosque like in all places. They usually needed to smash the door, the glass within the small door, and everybody tried to get out — so we had been making an attempt to get everybody to run away from that space,” he stated.
He stated the attacker fired no less than 40 photographs.
Folks wait outdoors a mosque in central Christchurch, the place many individuals had been killed in a mass taking pictures © AP
Lianne Dalziel, Christchurch’s mayor, stated she was shocked past phrases by the shootings.
“I’d by no means have anticipated something like this to occur in Christchurch, I might by no means anticipate this to occur in New Zealand,” she stated.
Muslim leaders have begun to answer the tragic incident.
“That is the worst occasion in latest New Zealand historical past. We’re shattered. We’re devastated,” Hazim Arafeh, of the Federation of Islamic Associations of New Zealand instructed state broadcaster RNZ.
Mike Bush, New Zealand’s police commissioner, stated a “critical and evolving state of affairs is going on in Christchurch with an energetic shooter”.
“Police are responding with its full functionality to handle the state of affairs, however the danger surroundings stays extraordinarily excessive.”
The police have beneficial that residents throughout Christchurch stay off the streets and indoors till additional discover. Christchurch faculties will probably be locked down till additional discover.
Members of the Bangladesh cricket workforce had been within the neighborhood of the taking pictures however the workforce coach stated all gamers had been secure.
Further reporting by Edward White