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Christchurch mosque shootings: Forty dead after New Zealand attacks Christchurch mosque shootings: 49 dead in New Zealand attacks
(about 1 hour later)
Forty people have been killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch. Forty-nine people have been killed and at least 20 wounded in shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described the incidents as a terrorist attack, and one of the country's "darkest days". Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison described the gunman, who had Australian citizenship, as an "extremist, right-wing" terrorist.
Three men and one woman are in custody, police commissioner Mike Bush said, but warned more suspects may be at large. Four people - three men and one woman - were detained in connection with the shooting, New Zealand police said.
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of those arrested was an Australian citizen. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called it one of New Zealand's "darkest days".
He described the suspected attacker as an "extremist right-wing violent terrorist".
What do we know at this point?What do we know at this point?
Witnesses told local media they ran for their lives and saw people bleeding on the ground outside the Al Noor mosque. New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush confirmed that "multiple fatalities" were recorded at two locations.
A second mosque in the suburb of Linwood has been evacuated, and Police Commissioner Mike Bush said "multiple fatalities" were recorded at two locations. As yet, far fewer details have emerged from the second site. The first report of an attack came from the Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch. Witnesses told local media they ran for their lives, and saw people bleeding on the ground outside the building.
They said they had responded to "a number of IEDs (explosive devices) attached to vehicles, that we also stopped". A second mosque in the suburb of Linwood was evacuated, but there were fewer details from that site. Police also defused "a number of IEDs (explosive devices) attached to vehicles", Mr Bush said.
Authorities have advised all mosques in the city to shut down until further notice, saying this was an unprecedented act of violence. Authorities advised all mosques in the city to shut down until further notice. Armed police were also seen at Papanui High School in Christchurch, which was cordoned off.
Armed police have also been seen at Papanui High School in Christchurch, which has been cordoned off. It was not immediately clear how many gunmen there were. The Australian suspect is believed to have published a manifesto outlining his intentions, in which he espoused far right and anti-immigrant ideology.
It is not yet known how many shooters there were, but one gunman is an Australian who is believed to have written a manifesto outlining his intentions. In it, he espouses far right and anti-immigrant ideology. He also appeared to have livestreamed on Facebook from a head-mounted camera as he shot victims in a mosque. Police called on the public not to share the "extremely distressing" footage online.
Footage taken by one shooter has emerged, which he appears to have live-streamed as he shot victims in a mosque. Police called on the public not to share the "extremely distressing" material online. Facebook said it had removed the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts and was working to remove any copies of the footage.
Facebook said it had removed the shooter's Facebook and Instagram accounts as well as any support voiced for that crime.
What happened at the mosques?What happened at the mosques?
The sequence of events remains unclear and has mostly come via eyewitness reports to local media.The sequence of events remains unclear and has mostly come via eyewitness reports to local media.
The first report of an attack came from the Al Noor mosque, located in central Christchurch along Deans Avenue, facing Hagley Park. Witnesses there reported seeing people bleeding on the ground outside the building. One unnamed survivor told TV New Zealand he was at the Al Noor mosque, and saw a gunman shoot a man directly in the chest. The attacker reportedly targeted the men's prayer room in the mosque, then moved to the women's room.
One unnamed survivor told TV New Zealand he saw a gunman shoot a man directly in the chest. "What I did was basically just waiting and praying, God please, let this guy run out of bullets," the witness said. "He came to this side, he shot this side, he went to another room and went to the ladies' section and shot them. I just heard one of the ladies has died."
The attacker reportedly targeted the men's prayer room in the mosque, then moved to the women's room. A Palestinian man who asked not to be named told the AFP news agency he heard rapid gunfire and saw a man shot in the head.
"What I did was basically just waiting and praying, God please, let this guy run out of bullets," the witness said. "I heard three quick shots, then after about 10 seconds it started again - it must have been an automatic, no one could pull a trigger that quick," he said. "Then people started running out. Some were covered in blood."
"He came to this side, he shot this side, he went to another room and went to the ladies' section and shot them. I just heard one of the ladies has died." A second mosque in the suburb of Linwood was also evacuated. The police commissioner said "multiple fatalities" were recorded at two locations.
A Palestinian man, who did not wish to be named, told AFP news agency he saw a man shot in the head, and heard rapid gunfire. How have authorities responded?
"I heard three quick shots, then after about 10 seconds it started again - it must have been an automatic, no one could pull a trigger that quick. Multiple casualties were brought to Christchurch Hospital where there was a heavy police presence. A spokeswoman said Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) had activated its mass casualty plan, the New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz reported.
"Then people started running out. Some were covered in blood."
A second mosque in the suburb of Linwood has also been evacuated, and the police commissioner said "multiple fatalities" were recorded at two locations. There are far fewer details emerging from there, however.
How are the authorities responding?
Multiple casualties have been brought to Christchurch Hospital, where there is a heavy police presence.
A spokeswoman said Canterbury District Health Board (CDHB) has activated its mass casualty plan, according to New Zealand news site Stuff.co.nz.
Police earlier cleared Cathedral Square, where thousands of children had been holding a rally for action on climate change.Police earlier cleared Cathedral Square, where thousands of children had been holding a rally for action on climate change.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush said: "Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high. Police Commissioner Bush said: "Police are responding with its full capability to manage the situation, but the risk environment remains extremely high. Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice."
"Police recommend that residents across Christchurch remain off the streets and indoors until further notice." A lockdown on all schools in Christchurch was lifted, and parents told could collect their children.
A lockdown on all schools in Christchurch has now been lifted, and parents are being told they can collect their children.
Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted: "I'm horrified by the reports I'm following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins."Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison tweeted: "I'm horrified by the reports I'm following of the serious shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. The situation is still unfolding but our thoughts and prayers are with our Kiwi cousins."
Who has been caught up in the attack? Cricket team escape attack
As well as the numerous witness reports of casualties, the Bangladesh national cricket team appear to have narrowly escaped the shooting. The Bangladesh national cricket team appeared to have narrowly escaped the shooting. A reporter following the team, which was due to play New Zealand in a now-cancelled test match on Saturday, tweeted that the team had "escaped from a mosque near Hagley Park where there were active shooters".
A reporter following the team, who were due to play New Zealand in a now-cancelled test match on Saturday, tweeted 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".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.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.
"They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel," he told the AFP news agency."They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel," he told the AFP news agency.
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