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Christchurch shootings: New Zealand in shock after mosque attacks



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Media caption Christchurch was blocked during the events

New Zealand is in mourning after 49 people were killed in two mosques in the most lethal shootings in the country.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern described filming on Friday in the city of Christchurch as one of New Zealand's "darkest days".

The flowers have been left out of mosques throughout the country while worried families are waiting for news of missing persons.

An armed man who believed he was a white supremacist transmitted fury live. A man of about 20 was arrested and should appear in court.

Two other people are in custody. No name has been made public.

A total of 48 people were injured in the shootings. The identities of the dead and wounded were not released.

Bangladesh, India and Indonesia say that some of their citizens were killed in the shooting and others were not registered.

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Media Caption Jacinda Ardern: "This can only be described as a terrorist attack"

On Saturday, Christchurch Mayor Lianne Dalziel expressed "repulsion" in this "act" of terrorism "and solidarity with the victims

" We welcomed new people into our city, they are our friends, they are our neighbors, "he told reporters." We want to come together to support them. "

La security remains tight in Christchurch. All mosques in New Zealand have been closed.

How the events took place

The first report of an attack came from the Al Noor mosque in central Christchurch during Friday prayers at 1

pm : 40 (00:40 GMT).

An armed man walked to the front door, entered and shot the faithful for about five minutes.

The assassin, who broadcast the attack live from a t the camera mounted on the head, said he was a twenty-eight year old Australian named Brenton Tarrant. The video showed that he shot men, women and children.

A survivor told the New Zealand newspaper Herald how he escaped through a window.

Nour Tavis, Moroccan, said he was in the front row when shooting began.

"People were running and suddenly you saw them fall," he said. He saw someone destroy a window. "I followed … it was the safest place to go out."

The wife of one of her friends was killed, she said.

"When he heard the noise, he wanted to go and make sure her husband was safe," he said. "He got the bullet, her husband ran away."

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Copyright of the image
AFP

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a mosque in the capital, Wellington and others throughout New Zealand

The assassin is said to have driven about 5 km (three miles) to another mosque in the suburb of Linwood where the second shooting occurred.

A witness described how one of the faithful managed to disarm the man, who

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Multimedia caption Eyewitness: "My hands trembled so hard "

It is not clear where the arrests were made.

The national cricket team visiting Bangladesh had a limited escape: they were going to pray in the Al Noor mosque.

Police say they have recovered firearms from both mosques and explosive devices were found on a car belonging to one of the suspects.

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Media caption Images on social media show an arrest made after the New Zealand mosque shootings

According to the latest census data, Muslims account for about 1% # 39; 1.1% of the New Zealand population of 4.25 million.

The numbers rose sharply when New Zealand welcomed refugees from various wars. countries in dissolution since the 90's.

The main suspect

Social media reports in the name of Brenton Tarrant were used to publish a long racist document in which the author identified the mosques that were subsequently attacked.

He says he started planning an attack after visiting Europe in 2017 and being angry about the events there.

The document is called "The Great Replacement" – a phrase that originated in France and became a battle cry for Europe's anti-immigration extremists.

Although the New Zealand police said they had accused a man of almost 20 years of murder, they did not identify him.

Global reaction

"It is clear that this can now only be described as a terrorist attack," Prime Minister Ardern told reporters

In a tweet, he said: "What happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence does not take place in New Zealand, many of which will be members of our migrant communities – New Zealand is their home – they are us. "

US President Donald Trump has offered his "warmest sympathy and best wishes" to New Zealand. "The United States is from New Zealand for something we can do, God bless everyone!"

British Prime Minister Theresa May offered his "deepest condolences to the people of New Zealand".

The Queen said she was "deeply saddened by the terrifying events of Christchurch today. Prince Philip and I send our condolences"

Pope Francis offered his "heartfelt solidarity" and is "deeply saddened by the # 39 "Learn about the injury and loss of human lives caused by senseless acts of violence," Vatican State Secretary Pietro Parolin said in a telegram.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was crying "with New Zealanders for their fellow citizens who were attacked and killed for racist hatred while praying peacefully in their mosques".

And French President Emmanuel Macron called it an "odious attack" and said France stood "against all forms of extremism".


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