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Christchurch shooting: 40 dead in terrorist attack at two mosques – live updates Christchurch shooting: 40 dead in terrorist attack at two mosques – live updates
(32 minutes later)
Theresa May has expressed her condolences.
"On behalf of the UK, my deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand after the horrifying terrorist attack in Christchurch. My thoughts are with all of those affected by this sickening act of violence." - PM @theresa_may
Police in New South Wales say there has been no specific threat to any mosque in Sydney or elsewhere in the state. In a statement it added:
Police have increased patrols and senior officers have also reached out to community and religious leaders across the state to provide support and reassurance.
NSW Police Force will continue to do everything possible to ensure the safety and security of all members of the community and everyone should continue to go about their business without fear.
Christchurch hospital is treating 48 people, including young children, for gunshot wounds, according to David Meates, Chief Executive, Canterbury District Health Board.
In a statement he said injuries range from critical to minor.
It said:
Twelve operating theatres are currently in use and due to the nature of some of the injuries, many people will need multiple surgeries. There is sufficient capacity and staff at Christchurch Hospital and the police cordon has been lifted from the site, so people who need emergency health care can now attend the Christchurch Hospital Emergency Department.
We have asked for some national services, which are usually provided in Christchurch, to be diverted to other centres e.g spinal cord injury service. We are grateful for the offers of support from other DHBs and from our staff who have offered to work longer shifts, with many volunteering to come in and help.
Around 200 family members are on site awaiting news of their loved ones. Together with police we are providing support to these people.
Unless it’s essential, we ask that people don’t come to visit patients Christchurch Hospital, as we are trying to reduce the numbers of people on the hospital site.
We have representatives from the mosque and the Muslim community with us, and interpreters to assist with communications.
Women due to give birth have been contacted by the maternity team to advise them they should go to one of our community maternity units unless they need hospital level care. Lead Maternity Carers and midwives have been informed of this.
Once we have provided for the medical needs of those injured, and the wellbeing of their families and whanau, we will be able to focus on the psychosocial wellbeing of our wider Canterbury community.
We envisage we will see an increasing demand for wellbeing support over the coming days and weeks as the reality and enormity of what has happened in our city today sinks in.
New Zealand police commissioner, Mike Bush, is due to give another update in about 30 minutes at 9pm local time.
Police Commissioner Mike Bush will speak to media at 9pm this evening to provide an update on the serious firearms incident in Christchurch. Media are asked to gather at the Royal Society, Turnbull Street, Thorndon, Wellington.
Forty people been killed and 20 injured in a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, which occurred during afternoon prayers.Forty people been killed and 20 injured in a terrorist attack on two mosques in Christchurch, which occurred during afternoon prayers.
Three people – one of them an Australian-born man – are in custody.Three people – one of them an Australian-born man – are in custody.
It was described as “a terrorist attack” by NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern, and an “extremist, right-wing violent terrorist [attack]” by Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.It was described as “a terrorist attack” by NZ prime minister Jacinda Ardern, and an “extremist, right-wing violent terrorist [attack]” by Australian prime minister Scott Morrison.
Christchurch remains on lockdown.Christchurch remains on lockdown.
Ardern said: “Many directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here...They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.”Ardern said: “Many directly affected by this shooting may be migrants to New Zealand, they may even be refugees here...They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.”
The attacker is believed to have livestreamed at least one of the attacks. Police urged people not to share the “distressing” footage, which many Australian news outlets ignored.The attacker is believed to have livestreamed at least one of the attacks. Police urged people not to share the “distressing” footage, which many Australian news outlets ignored.
The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK said they were not aware of any Britons caught up in the attack, writes Nadeem Badshah.The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in the UK said they were not aware of any Britons caught up in the attack, writes Nadeem Badshah.
A spokesman said no Britons have come to our attention.A spokesman said no Britons have come to our attention.
Flags will be at half-mast in Australia today, and buildings in Melbourne will be lit up in tribute, according to the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews.Flags will be at half-mast in Australia today, and buildings in Melbourne will be lit up in tribute, according to the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews.
Out of respect and in condolence for all those killed in the terrorist attack in New Zealand, I have asked for flags to be flown at half-mast. pic.twitter.com/0qgIrmdgoHOut of respect and in condolence for all those killed in the terrorist attack in New Zealand, I have asked for flags to be flown at half-mast. pic.twitter.com/0qgIrmdgoH
Melbourne's buildings will be lit up in New Zealand colours tonight in solidarity, and flags will be flown at half-mast tomorrow as a sign of respect.Melbourne's buildings will be lit up in New Zealand colours tonight in solidarity, and flags will be flown at half-mast tomorrow as a sign of respect.
The UK foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, also issued a message:The UK foreign minister, Jeremy Hunt, also issued a message:
Our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand following the news of this terrible act in Christchurch. NZ is one of the most peaceful, peace-loving and generous nations in the world. Your friends in the UK stand with you today in deepest sympathy.Our hearts go out to the people of New Zealand following the news of this terrible act in Christchurch. NZ is one of the most peaceful, peace-loving and generous nations in the world. Your friends in the UK stand with you today in deepest sympathy.
Another update from that earlier Ardern press conference – the number of people in custody is currently three. Earlier in the day, police said they had four people in custody. There was no further information provided as to why that number changed.Another update from that earlier Ardern press conference – the number of people in custody is currently three. Earlier in the day, police said they had four people in custody. There was no further information provided as to why that number changed.
New Zealand police have conducted a controlled detonation at Auckland’s largest train station, the Britomart Transport Centre.New Zealand police have conducted a controlled detonation at Auckland’s largest train station, the Britomart Transport Centre.
The bomb squad attended the station 40 minutes ago, and cordoned off the area. Just minutes ago an explosion was heard. Authorities told local media it was a controlled detonation.The bomb squad attended the station 40 minutes ago, and cordoned off the area. Just minutes ago an explosion was heard. Authorities told local media it was a controlled detonation.
New Zealanders are beginning to arrive with flowers and tributes as dusk falls on Christchurch.New Zealanders are beginning to arrive with flowers and tributes as dusk falls on Christchurch.
“New Zealand is with you,” said a woman who dropped off lillies. “New Zealand stands by you”.“New Zealand is with you,” said a woman who dropped off lillies. “New Zealand stands by you”.
Hassan, 29, lives behind the mosque on Dale street and was at the Linwood mosque when the shooting began. Hassan heard shooting in the mosque and women screaming “don’t come here” at the shooters. Police came within 5 to 10 minutes.Hassan, 29, lives behind the mosque on Dale street and was at the Linwood mosque when the shooting began. Hassan heard shooting in the mosque and women screaming “don’t come here” at the shooters. Police came within 5 to 10 minutes.
The shooter was screaming, waving the gun around wildly and firing it in every direction. He then left the mosque. Hassan is from Sri Lanka and has lived in New Zealand for 6 months. He came to New Zealand for work and opportunities.The shooter was screaming, waving the gun around wildly and firing it in every direction. He then left the mosque. Hassan is from Sri Lanka and has lived in New Zealand for 6 months. He came to New Zealand for work and opportunities.
“I thought New Zealand was a safe, peaceful country for everyone. I came here because I knew there were no wars. Police told me ‘I am sorry, this is the first time this has ever in this country.’ I don’t know who is dead or alive. I am waiting.”“I thought New Zealand was a safe, peaceful country for everyone. I came here because I knew there were no wars. Police told me ‘I am sorry, this is the first time this has ever in this country.’ I don’t know who is dead or alive. I am waiting.”
New Zealand’s threat level has been raised from low to high, Ardern confirms.New Zealand’s threat level has been raised from low to high, Ardern confirms.
Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, has issued a statement:Pakistan’s prime minister, Imran Khan, has issued a statement:
Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.
And the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan:And the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan:
I strongly condemn the terror attack against the Al Noor Mosque in #NewZealand and Muslim worshippers. May Allah have mercy on the victims and grant a speedy recovery to the wounded.I strongly condemn the terror attack against the Al Noor Mosque in #NewZealand and Muslim worshippers. May Allah have mercy on the victims and grant a speedy recovery to the wounded.
“This is not who we are. This act was not a reflection of who we are as a nation,” Ardern says. “It will take time to heal and tonight our thoughts and our prayers need to be with those affected.”“This is not who we are. This act was not a reflection of who we are as a nation,” Ardern says. “It will take time to heal and tonight our thoughts and our prayers need to be with those affected.”
Of the confirmed 40 people killed, 30 were killed at Al Noor mosque and 10 killed at Linwood mosque. That 10 figure includes three people who were outside Linwood Avenue mosque at the time.Of the confirmed 40 people killed, 30 were killed at Al Noor mosque and 10 killed at Linwood mosque. That 10 figure includes three people who were outside Linwood Avenue mosque at the time.
Ardern says none of the suspects were on security or terrorism watchlists.Ardern says none of the suspects were on security or terrorism watchlists.
Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand was “chosen for this act of violence” because it is an example of multiculturalism, diversity and acceptance.Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand was “chosen for this act of violence” because it is an example of multiculturalism, diversity and acceptance.
“We New Zealanders were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone this racism, or because we are an enclave of extremism, we were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things,” she said.“We New Zealanders were not chosen for this act of violence because we condone this racism, or because we are an enclave of extremism, we were chosen for the very fact that we are none of these things,” she said.
“I want to send a message to those directly affected...For many this may have not been the place they were born. For many New Zealand was their choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves to...it was a place where many came to for their safety. A place where it was safe to practice their culture and religion.“I want to send a message to those directly affected...For many this may have not been the place they were born. For many New Zealand was their choice, a place they actively came to and committed themselves to...it was a place where many came to for their safety. A place where it was safe to practice their culture and religion.
“We represent diversity and compassion, a home for those who share our values, a refuge for those who need it. And those values will not and can not be shaken by this attack. We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities and 160 languages.”“We represent diversity and compassion, a home for those who share our values, a refuge for those who need it. And those values will not and can not be shaken by this attack. We are a proud nation of more than 200 ethnicities and 160 languages.”
She issues “the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this”.She issues “the strongest possible condemnation of the ideology of the people who did this”.
“You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you.”“You may have chosen us but we utterly reject and condemn you.”