Not less than 49 people were killed and dozens of other seriously injured in mass shootings at two mosques in Christchurch city, New Zealand on Friday.
In a carefully planned and unprecedented atrocity that shocked the usually peaceful nation, the attack was unleashed at lunchtime local time Friday, when mosques were full of worshippers. Footage of the massacre was streamed live online, and a rambling manifesto laced with white supremacist references was published just before the shootings unfolded.
A total of 48 people, including young children with gunshot wounds, were taken to hospital.
The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, described the horror as a terrorist attack, saying it was perpetrated by suspects with “extremist views” that had no place in her country or the wider world. It was one of the New Zealand’s “darkest days,” she said in a press conference Friday.
Authorities said that every law enforcement resource in the country was mobilized after the attack.
Three people were arrested in connection with the shootings. A 28-year-old man was charged with murder and will appear in court Saturday morning local time. Two others were arrested on suspicion of possession of firearms. Police were investigating their ties to the incident, New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush said.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that at least one of those arrested is Australian. The atrocity was the work of an “extremist right-wing, violent terrorist,” he said.
Pray for Christchurch city, New Zealand and all who were affected in the attack for comfort and quick recovery.