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New Zealand Mosque shootings leave 40 dead; 4 in custody

Armed police patrol outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand

Armed police patrol outside a mosque in central Christchurch, New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said 40 people were killed and more than 20 seriously wounded in mass shootings at two Christchurch mosques full of people attending Friday prayers.

Arden described it as “one of New Zealand’s darkest days” and said the events in the city of Christchurch represented “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.”

Four people were detained in New Zealand after the shootings. One of them has been identified at Brenton Tarrant, 28, from Grafton, New South Wales, Australia, according to Television New Zealand (TVNZ).

“I can confirm that the individual who was taken into custody I have been advised is an Australian-born citizen,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison told reporters in Sydney.

“As family members with our New Zealand cousins today, we grieve, we are shocked, we are appalled, we are outraged, and we stand here and condemn absolutely the attack that occurred today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist.”

New Zealand police commissioner Mike Bush earlier told reporters in Wellington that three men and one woman were in custody.

“There were a few reports of IEDs strapped to vehicles which we were able to secure,” he said, referring to improvised explosive devices.

“It’s a very serious and grave situation,” Bush said.

Anti-immigrant manifesto

A man who claimed responsibility for the shootings left a 74-page anti-immigrant manifesto in which he explained who he was and his reasoning for his actions. He said he considered it a terrorist attack.

Ardern at her news conference alluded to anti-immigrant sentiment as the possible motive, saying that while many people affected by the shootings may be migrants or refugees “they have chosen to make New Zealand their home, and it is their home. They are us. The person who has perpetuated this violence against us is not.”

Two mosques hit

The deadliest shooting occurred at the Masjid Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch about 1:45 p.m. 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. “It’s unbelievable nutty. I don’t understand how anyone could do this to these people, to anyone. It’s ridiculous.”

He said he helped about five people recover in his home. He said one was slightly injured.

“I’ve lived next door to this mosque for about five years and the people are great, they’re very friendly,” he said. “I just don’t understand it.”

He said the gunman was white and was wearing a helmet with some kind of device on top, giving him a military-type appearance.

Police said there was a second shooting at the Linwood Masjid Mosque. Mark Nichols told the New Zealand Herald he heard about five gunshots and that a Friday prayer-goer returned fire with a rifle or shotgun.

Nichols said he saw two injured people being carried out on stretchers past his automotive shop and that both people appeared to be alive.

The man who claimed responsibility for the shooting said he was 28-year-old white Australian who came to New Zealand only to plan and train for the attack. He said he was not a member of any organization, but had donated to and interacted with many nationalist groups, though he acted alone and no group ordered the attack.

He said the mosques in Christchurch and Linwood would be the targets, as would a third mosque in the town of Ashburton if he could make it there.

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.”

Mass shootings in New Zealand are exceedingly rare. The deadliest in modern history occurred in the small town of Aramoana in 1990, when gunman David Gray shot and killed 13 people following a dispute with a neighbor.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Comments

0 #1 Wooden K. 2019-03-15 14:41
May the victims rest in peace !

World leaders have all come out to express their "shock" and to condemn the killers.

All world news channels are on this. I must ask why the same does not apply when extreme muslims attack churches and murder christians ?

This has happened many many times in Egypt , Pakistan , Indonasia and in other Islamic places .
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0 #2 Akot 2019-03-15 19:28
Quoting Wooden K.:


World leaders have all come out to express their "shock" and to condemn the killers.

All world news channels are on this. I must ask why the same does not apply when extreme muslims attack churches and murder christians?

This has happened many many times in Egypt , Pakistan , Indonasia and in other Islamic places .


Thanks!

In Europe, there is place, social services for these demons & are helped before any good poor in waiting!

France is bringing back children of islamists who joined Syrian...war as priority & housing/schools...are ready; but French tax payers cannot live on pays due to heavy taxes are treated as trouble causers!

Ugandans must throw Museveni out & be in position to protect/defend themselves!
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-1 #3 Wainainchi 2019-03-15 22:08
Deepest and most sincere condolences to the families of slain innocent Moslem faithfuls in New,Zealand massacre.

Once again we all as global community must get together to defend our lives and freedoms and fight evil and dark forces May the souls of killed innocent people in New Zealand rest in peace.

Horruble tragedy!
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0 #4 Wooden K. 2019-03-16 13:24
Good Wanainchi !

yes , may the slain innocent Moslem rest in peace.

After that prayer , we must widen the debate and say some some truths.

When sc extreme moslems attack and kill praying christians , there is zero outrage from the "faithful moslems " They wash their hands and repeat that Islam is a religion of peace.

What has the Muslim World League said about Boko Haram and Al Shabab`s activities -- do you know ?.

Akot mentions France and how some of these thugs are given more priority . What Akot leaves out is that in France , Catholic churches have been attacked and vandalized by these islamic goons

Too bad , there are white supremacist on the other side : But are you more likely to be killed by a white devil or a man with a beard who prays 5 times a day ?

How many of our girls have been raped or killed by KKK ; and how many have been raped and/or killed by " Faithfuls" ?
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0 #5 Akot 2019-03-16 21:28
Wooden K., understood, but,

Akot knows French are afraid of muslims who get first class services without fighting for it, while whites/black christians have to beg & justify why they need social services! Mayors' offices have security cameras & people are screened before doors open for fear of islamists!

France is majority catholic but churches only open at service hours & are closed immediately after for fear of islamists!

Muslims are more at home in France/Europe than europeans!

France is bringing back children of terrorists from Syria while ignoring tax payers demonstrting for more pay - but there is money for terrorists' children because French govt says they are living so poorly in Syria...!

British don't understand they MUST become a real NATION, if they are to be safe & control the already worrying situation!
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0 #6 Akot 2019-03-16 21:40
Wooden K., thanks!

Not long ago, French security was deployed intensively to search an islamist terrorist for bombing, killing...but in vain!

Months after in public garden, police was impressed by a female in muslim long robe & full face veil - she was taller more squared than the other women! Police followed her for days then finally asked her to identify herself, but it was the terrorist man they had been looking for!

I hope French promoted the officers who got that demon!
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0 #7 Akot 2019-03-16 22:04
Wooden K., it me again!

Europeans, like Ugandans, are so good at putting themselves in danger with migrants-refugees-good life seekers!

Muslims are well served, respected, feared by Europeans!

French government praises Algerians at home/in France for rising up against Boutefika, but encourages French security in arresting, teargasing, blaming French demonstrating for better pay as taxes/prices/rents/power bills rise!

Well, British have forgotten Brexit was triggered by migration that is mainly composed of muslims!

Europeans who have lost hope are behaving like islamist terrorists now because it's the only way their government will listen to them!

But Ugandans just have to UNITE & throw Museveni out then form the government they want!
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