Two mosques within the metropolis of Christchurch in New Zealand had been attacked on Friday, with no less than 49 individuals killed and greater than 40 others wounded as Muslims worshipped.
Here’s what we all know to this point concerning the gun assaults:
Throughout afternoon prayers on Friday – Islam’s holy day – a gunman opened hearth contained in the Masjid al Noor mosque in central Christchurch, killing 41 individuals. One other seven had been slain at a second mosque 5 kilometres away in suburban Linwood, three of them exterior the constructing.
The remaining sufferer died at hospital.
Witnesses mentioned some victims had been shot at shut vary.
Farid Ahmed, a wheelchair-bound witness in Christchurch, advised Al Jazeera he was behind the mosque and heard the taking pictures for about seven minutes.
“I pushed myself on the again the place my automobile was parked and I used to be behind the automobile. And from there I used to be listening to taking pictures after taking pictures,” he mentioned. “After about 10 minutes, I believed the shooter has left. I pushed myself to get contained in the mosque and it was unbelievable. I noticed in the principle room on the right-hand aspect greater than 20 individuals, a few of them useless, some screaming.
“I noticed on the ground tons of of bullet shells. I noticed one man attempting to expire and he was shot useless.”
One other witness mentioned he noticed his spouse mendacity useless exterior as he escaped, with another saying he witnessed kids being shot.
The gunman broadcast reside footage on Fb of the assault on one of many mosques.
The video, nearly 17 minutes lengthy, exhibits a white man in camouflage and black clothes driving to what seems to be the Al Noor mosque. After coming into the positioning, he repeatedly shot worshippers, leaving greater than a dozen our bodies in a single room alone.
He returned to the automobile throughout that interval to vary weapons, and went again to the mosque to shoot anybody displaying indicators of life.
The video is filmed within the fashion of a first-person shooter laptop sport.
It was not instantly clear if the assaults on the two mosques had been carried out by the identical man.
New Zealand PM: Dozens killed in ‘terrorist’ assault on mosques (21:08)
Who had been the victims?
Individuals from around the globe had been within the mosque on the time of the assault. New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned a few of the victims might have been new immigrants or refugees.
Younger kids had been amongst 48 individuals being handled at Christchurch Hospital.
A Jordanian man was killed within the assault, the nation’s international ministry mentioned, the primary and solely sufferer recognized by authorities to this point. No less than 5 Jordanians had been amongst these wounded.
Indonesia’s international ministry mentioned two Indonesians – a father and his son – had been injured within the assault. The father was in intensive care and his son was being handled on the similar hospital, in accordance with Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir, who declined to determine them.
Afghanistan’s ambassador mentioned on Twitter three Afghans had been wounded. Two Malaysians had been wounded, their international ministry mentioned.
A Saudi Arabian man and two Turks had been additionally amongst these wounded.
India’s excessive commissioner to New Zealand mentioned 9 individuals of Indian nationality or origin had been lacking.
4 Pakistanis had been wounded within the mass taking pictures, whereas 5 others had been lacking, mentioned Mohammad Faisal, a spokesman for the nation’s international ministry.
Some narrowly escaped, together with the Bangladesh cricket workforce who was had been en route to wish on the Al Noor mosque earlier than a scheduled take a look at match in opposition to host workforce New Zealand.
Khaled Mashud, the workforce’s supervisor, mentioned they noticed “bloodied individuals popping out of the mosque … we saved our heads down within the bus in case of any firing”.
|No less than 49 individuals had been killed and greater than 40 wounded in Friday’s assaults [Mark Baker/AP Photo]|
How did authorities reply?
Police imposed a city-wide lockdown, sending armed officers to various scenes. Two improvised explosive gadgets had been discovered connected to a automobile and neutralised.
Three males and a girl had been detained. One of many males was later charged with homicide, and two others remained in custody, although their position within the assaults was not clear.
Officers warned Muslims to not go to mosques “wherever in New Zealand”, a rustic of practically 5 million individuals the place mass shootings are uncommon. A police presence has been positioned at mosques across the nation and ramped up all through Christchurch.
Amid heightened tensions, the navy carried out managed explosions on two luggage left unattended in central Auckland, though they turned out to not be suspicious.
Ardern, the prime minister, mentioned the assault on the mosques gave the impression to be a well-planned “terrorist assault”.
“That is, and shall be, considered one of New Zealand’s darkest days,” Ardern advised reporters.
Who’re the suspects?
The three suspects haven’t but been recognized, and police have refused to touch upon their motivations citing ongoing investigations.
Ardern, New Zealand’s prime minister, described the suspects as having “extremist views”. She mentioned her authorities has no purpose to imagine there are extra suspects, however that intelligence companies and police had been engaged on establishing this.
Mike Bush, New Zealand’s police commissioner, mentioned the person charged with homicide was not identified to intelligence companies. He mentioned police had been “not conscious of different individuals, however we can’t assume there are usually not others at giant”.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed the suspect charged with homicide was an Australian citizen, and described him as “an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist”.
The 28-year-old suspect, who is about to seem at a Christchurch courtroom on Saturday, printed a racist manifesto on Twitter earlier than the taking pictures, which he livestreamed on Fb.
Entitled “The Nice Alternative”, the 74-page manifesto mentioned the gunman – who recognized himself as an Australia-born, white male from a low-income, working-class household – had wished to assault Muslims. The title of the manifesto has the identical identify as a conspiracy concept originating in France that believes European populations are being displaced of their homelands by immigrant teams with larger delivery charges.
Numerous footage had been posted to a social media account of a semi-automatic weapon coated within the names of historic figures, a lot of whom had been concerned within the killing of Muslims.
Fb and Twitter mentioned they’d take down content material involving the shootings.
Evaluation – Taking pictures assaults on two mosques in New Zealand (eight:21)