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49 Dead in 'Terrorist Attack' at 2 Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand
Written by <a href="index.php?option=com_comprofiler&task=userProfile&user=50360"><span class="small">Matthew S. Schwartz, Richard Gonzales and Barbara Campbell, NPR</span></a>   
Friday, 15 March 2019 08:15

Excerpt: "Forty-nine people are dead and at least 20 are seriously injured in what New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says 'can now only be described as a terrorist attack.'"

Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. Multiple people are in custody after shootings at two mosques there. (photo: Mark Baker/AP)
Ambulance staff take a man from outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, on Friday. Multiple people are in custody after shootings at two mosques there. (photo: Mark Baker/AP)


49 Dead in 'Terrorist Attack' at 2 Mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand

By Matthew S. Schwartz, Richard Gonzales and Barbara Campbell, NPR

15 March 19

 

orty-nine people are dead and at least 20 are seriously injured in what New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says "can now only be described as a terrorist attack."

Two mosques in Christchurch were attacked Friday around the time of afternoon prayers. A male in his late 20s has been charged with murder, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said. Three other people were apprehended, though one of those people might not have been involved in the shootings. Bush said it would be "improper" to confirm the identity of the person charged at this point.

Bush said police have recovered "a number of firearms" from both crime scenes. There were also "possibly" two improvised explosive devices on one vehicle, Bush said. Police have disabled one and are in the process of disabling the other, he said.

Bush said 41 people were killed at the Al Noor Mosque near Hagley Park in the city's center; seven were killed at a mosque in Linwood, a few miles away. One person taken to a hospital died from injuries sustained during the attack.

Ardern said the attack by people with "extremist views" was "unprecedented — unlike any that we have experienced before."

None of those in custody were on any active security watch lists, either in New Zealand or Australia, Bush said.

New Zealanders must continue to feel secure in their country, Ardern said. "We represent diversity, kindness, compassion, a home for those who share our values, refuge for those who need it. And those values, I can assure you, will not and cannot be shaken by this attack."

One of the individuals in custody is Australian, according to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Christchurch Hospital said it was treating 48 patients for gunshot wounds, CNN reported.

Bush said earlier that police haven't been able to identify the victims yet because the mosques are still on lockdown.

New Zealand Police say they have asked all mosques across the country to "shut their doors."

"It is clear this is one of New Zealand's darkest days," Ardern said earlier Friday. "What has happened is an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence."

"Many of those affected may be migrants, maybe refugees ... They are us. ... The perpetrator is not. ... There is no place in New Zealand for such acts of extreme and unprecedented violence," Ardern said.

Bush urged anyone who had intended to visit a mosque in New Zealand not to go, to "close your doors until you hear from us again." The public was being urged to stay indoors.

Bush said he was aware of reports that the shooter had live-streamed an attack online. "We are doing everything we can to remove it," he said.

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+9 # DongiC 2019-03-15 09:08
Without doubt evil stalks the land and innocent people are struck down for no other reason than their religious faith, their cultural beliefs, their economic standing. The malady is world wide and hits with terrifying swiftness and bloodshed. New Zealand prides itself on its peacefulness and almost 100 people were victimized with 49 fatalities. Once again, guns were involved which seems to be the weapon of choice of these brutal terrorists. The world sure needs peacemakers. Hope they come forth soon.
 
 
+8 # Yadayada 2019-03-15 10:21
My thoughts and prayers go to the victims and their families.
I hope, I hope, I hope it does not change the way of New Zealand.
When we visited the country for a month two years ago we were absolutely astounded by the kindness, the openness and the palpable safety everywhere we went.
This is a dark day indeed.
 
 
+6 # WIlhelmscream2 2019-03-15 11:28
Thanks*, Trump for inciting an act of terrorism in New Zealand! We enjoy* being in fear of our lives. (*sarcasm emphasized)
 
 
0 # Glen 2019-03-15 13:46
Yours is not sarcasm. It is reality, WIhelm. Trump and all his supporters are seeding the atmosphere with hate and genuine psychosis. The violence is spreading and encouraging the worst among the world population. WW III will not be conducted as in the past. It will be this type of terrorism and guerrilla warfare. In truth, that war has begun.