Friday 18 October 2019

Slaughtered as they prayed

49 killed in New Zealand terror attack broadcast live on social media

Trauma: People lay flowers outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday as they come to terms with the senseless killings of 49 people. Photo: Mark Baker/AP
Trauma: People lay flowers outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, yesterday as they come to terms with the senseless killings of 49 people. Photo: Mark Baker/AP

Jack Stubbs

A white supremacist gunman who killed at least 49 people at two New Zealand mosques broadcast the attacks live on a social media website for 17 minutes.

The shootings occurred during lunchtime prayers yesterday at two mosques full of worshippers in Christchurch.

At least 48 people were wounded, some critically.

The attack was first posted to Facebook and then shared on Twitter, YouTube and WhatsApp and Instagram, using an app for sports events.

Copies were still being shared on social media up to 10 hours later as the companies failed to remove the videos.

The gunman behind at least one of the mosque shootings left a 74-page manifesto that he posted on social media under the name Brenton Tarrant, identifying himself as a 28-year-old Australian and white nationalist who was out to avenge attacks in Europe perpetrated by Muslims.

Last night, Tarrant appeared in court in Christchurch amid strict security and showed no emotion when the judge read him one murder charge.

The judge said "it was reasonable to assume" more such charges would follow. Tarrant was remanded in custody until April 5.

A second man, 18-year-old Daniel John Burrough, has been charged with inciting racial hatred.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said three people, including Tarrant, had been arrested in the wake of the attack.

"I can tell you one thing right now, our gun laws will change," Ms Ardern said.

Irish Independent

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