Tuesday 26 March 2019

New Zealand mosque attacks: What we know so far

An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019.
An injured person is loaded into an ambulance following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019.
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Forty-nine people have been killed and four people are in custody after attackers opened fire during Friday prayers at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Here's what we know so far:

A man reacts as he speaks on a mobile phone near a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers, as New Zealand police warned people to stay indoors as they tried to determine if more than one gunman was involved.(AP Photo/Mark Baker)
A man reacts as he speaks on a mobile phone near a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand, Friday, March 15, 2019. Multiple people were killed in mass shootings at two mosques full of people attending Friday prayers, as New Zealand police warned people to stay indoors as they tried to determine if more than one gunman was involved.(AP Photo/Mark Baker)

- At least 30 people were killed at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch, at least seven people died inside the suburban Linwood Masjid Mosque, and at least three others died outside the same mosque. In all, a total of 49 people were killed.

- Migrants and refugees appeared to be most affected by the shootings.

- At least 20 others have been seriously injured.

- Four people, three men and one woman, are in custody over the attacks.

Grieving members of the public following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019
Grieving members of the public following a shooting at the Al Noor mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand, March 15, 2019

- New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the national security threat level has been lifted from low to high, adding the shootings appeared to have been a well-planned "terrorist attack". She described it as "one of New Zealand's darkest days".

- One of the attackers - Brenton Tarrant - appears to have live-streamed the attack on Facebook as he shot victims in a mosque. Police have urged the public not to share the "extremely distressing" material online.

- The 28-year-old Australian described his anti-immigrant motives in a manifesto.

- Police have warned there may be more suspects.

- Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison said one of those arrested was an Australian citizen and described the suspected attacker as an "extremist right-wing violent terrorist".

- A number of improvised explosive devices found on vehicles after the shootings have been defused by police.

- Officers first received reports of shots fired in central Christchurch at about 1.40pm local time (12.40am GMT).

- All schools in Christchurch were put on lockdown and mosques told to shut their doors.

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