At least 49 people have been reported dead in the two mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, 15 March, police commissioner Mike Bush confirmed during a press briefing.
Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Sanjiv Kohli said, “There are nine missing persons of Indian nationality or origin.”
The terror attack took place in Al Noor Mosque in central Christchurch and the Linwood Mosque in the city’s suburbs.
Shooting in Mosque at NZ’s Christchurch, B’Desh Cricketers Escape
Suspcted Shooter Appears Before Christchurch Court on Murder Charges
Twenty-eight-year-old Brenton Tarrant appeared in court on Saturday charged with murder, after a terror attack on two Christchurch mosques that left 49 dead.
Wearing handcuffs and a white prison shirt, the Australian-born former fitness instructor and self-professed fascist sat impassively as the judge read the charge against him.
He did not request bail and was taken into custody until his next court appearance scheduled for 5 April.
Shooter Had Gun License, NZ PM Flags Off Law Changes
Five guns were used during 15 March’s mass murder attack. The accused received his gun licence in 2017. “He travelled to a range of countries.” said New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. She has flagged a change to New Zealand’s gun laws, according to AFP.
“The accused man, Brenton Tarrant, was not a resident of Christchurch, he lived in Dunedin,” she added.
Stand United Against Anti-Muslim Hatred, Urges UN Chief
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Friday, 15 March, urged the international community to “stand united against anti-Muslim hatred” and all forms of bigotry and terror following the shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that left at least 49 dead and many others wounded.
“I’m saddened & strongly condemn the shooting of innocent people as they prayed peacefully in mosques in New Zealand. I express my deepest condolences to the victims’ families. Today and every day, we must stand united against anti-Muslim hatred, & all forms of bigotry & terror,” the UN Chief tweeted.
In a statement issued by his spokesman, the Secretary-General said he is “shocked and appalled” at the terrorist attack at the two mosques in Christchurch. He extended his deepest condolences to the families of the victims and to the Government and people of New Zealand.
“The Secretary General recalls the sanctity of mosques and all places of worship. He calls upon all people on this holy day for Muslims to show signs of solidarity with the bereaved Islamic community,” his spokesman said.
Bulgaria Launches Probe Into Suspected Gunman’s Recent Visit
Bulgaria launched probe into recent visit by New Zealand mosque attacker, say prosecutors, reported AFP.
The prosecutor will investigate the recent visit of an Australian man alleged to be the gunman. The suspect visited Bulgaria from 9-15 November last year, claiming that he wanted to “to visit historical sites and study the history of the Balkan country”, said the prosecutor.
India Stands in Solidarity with New Zealand: Sushma Swaraj
Hours after the terror attack, Minister of External affairs Sushma Swaraj in a tweet said:
“In this moment of grief, India stands in solidarity with the people and Government of New Zealand.”
“We strongly condemn the dastardly terrorist attacks at the places of worship in Christchurch. Our heartfelt condolences to those who lost their loved ones. Our thoughts and prayers are with the affected families,” she added.
MEA Assured Us Assistance: Owaisi
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen President, Asaduddin Owaisi, in a tweet claimed that MEA has is looking into the matter and has assured the families of the affected Indians their assistance.
“I’d like to thank Sushma Swaraj for personally updating me about MEA’s efforts in assisting Ahmed’s & Ahsan’s families reach NZ in time,” he said.
Innocent People Have so Senselessly Died: Donald Trump
US President Donald Trump is expressing “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to the people of New Zealand after “the horrible massacre in the Mosques.”
Trump tweeted as the White House issued a statement condemning the attacks at two mosques in the city of Christchurch that left at least 49 people dead.
Trump tweeted that “innocent people have so senselessly died” and added: “The US stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”
Union Minister Hardeep Singh Puri Condemns Mosque Terror Attack
World Stands in Need of Compassion & Understanding
In the aftermath of the terror attack, Congress President, Rahul Gandhi tweeted saying:
“The New Zealand Shooting is a despicable act of terrorism, that must be condemned unequivocally. The world stands in need of compassion & understanding. Not bigotry & hate filled extremism. My condolences to the families of the victims. My prayers go out to those who were injured.”
‘My Brother Recovering After Getting Shot’: Injured Victim’s Brother
Speaking to ANI, Khurshid Jahangir, brother of Ahmed Jahangir who reportedly got injured in the terror attack said:
“My brother was injured and is now recovering in a hospital. He is currently undergoing surgery. We have seen in the video he has been shot in the chest. We’re trying to reach the Embassy.”
PM Modi Writes to NZ Counterpart, Expresses Deep Shock
PM Narendra Modi condemned the “loss of innocent lives”, in a note written to his New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern.
On Friday, at least 49 were killed in the two mass shootings at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.
NZ Head of State, Queen Elizabeth II Condemns Mosque Attack
Queen Elizabeth II, New Zealand’s head of state, said she was “deeply saddened” by the terror attacks on two mosques.
“I have been deeply saddened by the appalling events in Christchurch… At this tragic time, my thoughts and prayers are with all New Zealanders,” she said in a message.
“Prince Philip and I send our condolences to the families and friends of those who have lost their lives,” she said, paying tribute to emergency workers and volunteers providing support to the injured.
Meanwhile, Pope Francis also extended prayers to the victims. The pope was “deeply saddened to learn of the injury and loss of life caused by the senseless acts of violence,” Vatican Secretary of State Pietro Parolin said in a telegram.
9 Indians Missing After Mosque Terror Attack
After several reports suggested attacks on Indians in the mosque terror attack on Friday, Indian High Commissioner to New Zealand, Sanjiv Kohli said “there are nine missing persons of Indian nationality/ origin.”
“Official confirmation still awaited,” Kohli suggested.
The Ministry of External Affairs also put out a notification stating:
“Our Mission is in touch with local authorities to ascertain more details. It is a sensitive matter and therefore we can’t give confirmed numbers/names till we are absolutely certain.”
Indian Shot in NZ Mosque Terror Attack, Family Seeks Urgent Visa
Bangladesh PM Sheikh Hasina Expresses ‘Deep Shock’, Reaches Out to NZ PM After Mosque Attack
Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has sent a message to her New Zealand counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, expressing her “deep shock” and condemnation of the terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.
Hasina’s press wing said the prime minister reached out to Ardern on Friday.
An international cricket match between New Zealand and Bangladesh has been canceled after players from the visiting team narrowly avoided a mass shooting at one of the mosques.
‘Stand With People of New Zealand’: World Leaders Condemn Terror Attack
World leaders expressed condolences and condemnation against the terror attack on mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch. Several Muslim leaders said the mass shooting was evidence of a rising tide of violent anti-Islam sentiment.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called the attacks the “latest example of rising racism and Islamophobia.”
Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan echoed Erdogan and said, “I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam and 1.3 billion Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim.”
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker tweeted that he learned of the attack “with horror and profound sadness…The European Union will always stand with New Zealand and against those who heinously want to destroy our societies and our way of life.”
London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, said “London stands with the people of Christchurch in the face of this horrific terror attack.”
“London will always celebrate the diversity that some seek to destroy,” he added.
Leaders Across The Globe Condemn New Zealand Mosque Attacks
6 Indians Killed in New Zealand Mosque Terror Attack: Report
Unconfirmed reports have suggested that six Indian were killed in the two terror attacks in Christchurch, New Zealand that left at least 49 people dead and over 20 injured.
Speaking to BBC Hindi, Indian High Commissioner in New Zealand, Sanjeev Kohli said that initial information suggest that two Indian and four Indian-origin are believed to be dead in the terror attack.
NZ Terror Attack: 2 Indians, 4 Indian-Origin People Among Victims
‘People Jumped Fences, Hid Under Cars to Avoid Bullets’: Eyewitness
Mahmood Nassir, a witness told The Associated Press that they (people in the mosque) jumped fences, hid under cars and ran to the back doors just to save themselves. He said that when the firing stopped, he looked from over the fence, to see the shooter changing his gun and taking the other one out.
Nassir said that his wife and 4-year-old kid was inside the mosque. He has, however, got the news that his family is safe.
When asked about how he feels about his place of worship being attacked, he said that bad people don’t know the difference between the good and the bad.
Suspect Came to New Zealand to Plan and Train for the Attack
The man who claimed responsibility for the shooting said he came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack. He said he was not a member of any organisation, but had donated to and interacted with many nationalist groups, though he acted alone and no group ordered the attack.
He said he chose New Zealand because of its location, to show that even the most remote parts of the world were not free of “mass immigration.” New Zealand is generally considered to be a welcoming country for immigrants and refugees. Last year, the prime minister announced the country would boost its annual refugee quota from 1,000 to 1,500 starting in 2020.
Police Commissioner to Address Media
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush will address the media again at 9 pm local time (1:30 pm IST) to provide an update on the current situation.
New Zealand Attack: Christchurch Hospital Treating 48 Patients for Gunshots
Christchurch Hospital is treating 48 patients with gunshot wounds, ranging from young children to adults, CNN reported, citing a statement from David Meates, Chief Executive of Canterbury District Health Board.
40 Dead, 20 Injured: Prime Minister Ardern Confirms
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed the death toll in the terror attack to be 40. She said that another 20 people have been injured in the attack. Earlier, she had called this one of the darkest days for the country. She also clarified the number of people in custody to be three during the press conference.
Ardern further said that the incident “can only be described as a terrorist attack.” She said that New Zealand’s security threat went from low to high after the terror attack. This is the first time the threat in New Zealand is set at high.
PM Ardern also said that there were two explosives that were attached to the suspects’ cars. This, she said, suggest that there was a “degree of planning” around Friday’s attacks.
New Zealand Terror Attack: San Francisco Police to Beef Up Security Around Mosques
In the following events of the Christchurch terror attack, the San Francisco Police Department has said that it will be making extra passing calls around mosques in San Francisco.
Australian PM Confirms One Australian Among the Four Arrested
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, while talking about the Christchurch terror attack, confirmed that an Australian man was among the four suspects that have been taken into custody after the deadly shootings at New Zealand mosques.
While condemning the attack, the Australian called the suspect a violent, extremist right-wing terrorist.
Six Indonesians at the Mosque During Shooting
Indonesia’s foreign minister says six Indonesians were at the Al Noor Mosque in New Zealand when a shooting occurred and three of them escaped.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said, “We are looking for three other Indonesian citizens.”
Police have described multiple fatalities in shootings at two mosques in the city of Christchurch and say four people are in custody.
The Indonesian Embassy in Wellington sent a team to Christchurch that is coordinating with New Zealand officials.
The foreign ministry says there are 330 Indonesian citizens in Christchurch, 130 of them students.
It said it strongly condemns the attack. “The government and the people of Indonesia convey deep condolences to the victims and their families.”
Muslims Australia Statement
The federation of Islamic councils, in its statement condemning the terror attack, said that all mosques should be extra vigilant and asked the members of muslim community to be mindful of their safety in the coming days.
It said that the terror attack on Friday is a product of the “ever-increasing” Islamophobia and the marginalisation of muslims and is a reminder to everyone as to what hate and division can lead to.
Palestinian Man Saw Someone Get Shot in the Head
A Palestinian man in the mosque, who did not want to give his name, said he saw a man shot in the head.
“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 told AFP.
“Then people started running out. Some were covered in blood.” Another witness told stuff.co.nz he was praying in the Deans Ave mosque when he heard shooting and saw his wife lying dead on the footpath outside when he fled.
Another man said he saw children being shot.
“There were bodies all over me,” he said.
An eyewitness told Radio New Zealand he heard shots fired and four people were lying on the ground, with “blood everywhere”.
Unconfirmed reports said the shooter was a wearing military-style clothing.
However, anyone over 16 can apply for a standard firearms licence after doing a safety course, which allows them to purchase and use a shotgun unsupervised.
Twitter Takes Down Suspect’s Profile
Twitter has taken down the account of the suspect involved with the shooting, Bloomberg reported.
Lockdown of Schools Lifted, Police Confirms
The New Zealand police, soon after the commissioner’s briefing, said that the lockdown on schools has been lifted throughout Christchurch. It said that there is a large number of police present in the city.
Police Commissioner Addresses Media, Says 4 Arrested
New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said the police has arrested four people, including one woman. He added the police have defused a number of improvised explosive devices found on vehicles after the mosque shootings.
Witnesses Recount the Horror
Witness Len Peneha said he saw a man dressed in black enter the mosque and then heard dozens of shots, followed by people running from the mosque in terror.
Peneha, who lives next door to the mosque, said the gunman ran out of the mosque, dropped what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon in his driveway, and fled.
Peneha said he then went into the mosque to try and help.
“I saw dead people everywhere. There were three in the hallway, at the door leading into the mosque, and people inside the mosque,” he said.
He said he helped about five people recover in his home. He said one was slightly injured.
One witness told stuff.co.nz he was praying in the Deans Ave mosque when he heard shooting and saw his wife lying dead on the footpath outside when he fled.
Another man said he saw children being shot.
“There were bodies all over me,” he said.
A man who was at the mosque during the incident is telling told TVNZ that he hasn’t seen his wife, who was also in the mosque this morning, since the shooting.
The man, who is a wheelchair and pushed himself out to the carpark, has a chilling account of the event, The Guardian reported.
He said he was in the side room and the imam had just started his sermon when the shooting started.
“Then suddenly the shooting started. It started in the main room… I was in the side room, so I didn’t see who was shooting but I saw that some people were running out to my room where I was in, I saw some people had blood on their body and some people were limping. It was at the moment I realised things were really serious,” he said.
The man then pushed himself back into the mosque after the shooting ended, trying to find his wife, and help others.
Police Commissioner to Address Media Shortly
The New Zealand police said that the police commissioner Mike Bush will be addressing the media at 5:30 pm local time (10:00 am IST). The briefing will be held at the Royal Society on Turnbull Street, Thorndon, Wellington.
Bangladesh – New Zealand Test Match Cancelled After Shooting
Cricket test match between Bangladesh and New Zealand has been cancelled after the Christchurch shooting, the New Zealand cricket board confirmed.
New Zealand Police Urges People to Not Share Live Stream Video
The New Zealand police urged people to not share the “extremely distressing footage relating to the incident in Christchurch”. The police said it is working to get the footage removed.
The police also urged the residents to stay inside and asked all mosques in the country to shut their doors.
Bangladesh Cricket Team’s Escape
Members of the Bangladesh cricket team safely escaped from the first reported mosque shooting in Christchurch on Friday, 15 March.
Bangladesh Cricket Board spokesman Jalal Yunus said most of the team were bussed to the mosque and were about to go inside when the incident happened. “They are safe. But they are mentally shocked. We have asked the team to stay confined in the hotel,” he told AFP.
Cricketer Tamim Iqbal also tweeted out saying that the escape was a frightening experience.
The Bangladesh Cricket Board also tweeted out saying that the players are safe andback to their hotel.
Bangladesh Cricketers Escape Mosque Shooting in NZ, Tour Cancelled
Shooter Live-Streamed the Incident, Posted Manifesto Online
Reports from New Zealand said the shooter has been identified as one Brenton Tarrant. He had live-streamed the whole incident online and had uploaded a lengthy manifesto before carrying out the shooting.
One of the Darkest Days for the Country: PM Addresses Press Briefing
The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern addressed the media on the shooting. She said that this is one of the darkest days for the country.
Police Says One in Custody, Might be More Offenders
The New Zealand police commissioner says one person is in custody, and the police believes that there may be other offenders, Reuters reported.
Reports of a Second Shooting in Another Mosque
There are reports of a second shooting in another mosque in the city, according to the New Zealand media, The Associated Press reported.
Local Media Reports Multiple Casualties
Many people were killed in a mass shooting at a mosque in the New Zealand city of Christchurch on Friday, a witness said.
Police have not yet described the scale of the shooting but urged people in central Christchurch to stay indoors.